Fine Arts’ Is Coming Down

In the middle of all the new building construction going on in the downtown area, it’s sad to report that a historic one is coming down. Ilitch Holdings Inc. has asked the Detroit Historic District Commision and other groups like Preservation Wayne for permission to demolish the Fine Arts Building at 44 W. Adams. Built in 1905 as an office building, it also contained the Adams Theater.

Originally called the Kunsky theater, The Adams was added on to the rear in 1917. The entrance was in front of the Fine Arts and a tunnel connected its patrons to the theater. From the beginning until closing in 1988, the Adams offered movie goers a wide range of entertainment. Vaudeville, silent flics, talkies and, in the fifties, CinemaScope, cutting edge cinematography in the fifties. The marquee was condemed in 99′ and removed. Towards the end of it’s run it was an adult theater.

That’s the bad news, the good news is that I remember reading somewhere that Ilitch wanted to restore the Fine Arts because his offices at the Fox were busting at the seams. Now with the request to tear it down, they probably will have to agree to replace it with new construction. I live in the Kales next door and I sure hope they don’t build too high and block my view of left field at Comerica Park!

3 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

    i think it’s a good thing overall… especially if they replace it with something else… they’ve had that thing on the market for a while and if no one’s biting, it’s just good business to move on…

  2. ZuDfunck (unregistered) on March 23rd, 2007 @ 1:37 pm

    The original three screen Cinerama theatre was at the Music Hall, then in the sixties it became a 70MM curved screen deal that was at the Schubert theatre. I don’t recall the Adams having Cinerama, though.

  3. A Dubs (unregistered) on April 3rd, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

    The proposal is to save the facade and demo the rest. So all is not lost.

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