The Fillmore Detroit
Deftones played the Fillmore Detroit
on the eve of its official rebranding
|Former names||State Theatre
|Location||2115 Woodward Avenue
Francis Palms Building & State Theater
|Location||2111 Woodward Avenue
|Architect||C. Howard Crane|
|Architectural style||Beaux Arts|
|NRHP Reference #||82000551|
|Added to NRHP||November 24, 1982|
The Fillmore Detroit is a mixed-use entertainment venue operated by Live Nation. Built in 1925, the Fillmore Detroit was known for most of its history as the State Theatre, and prior to that as the Palms Theatre. It is located near the larger Fox Theatre in the Detroit Theatre District along Woodward Avenue across from Comerica Park and Grand Circus Park. It contains a theatre with a Grand Lobby and two levels of seating, as well as the State Bar & Grill which has a separate entrance and is open when the theatre is not hosting events. The Detroit Music Awards are held annually at The Fillmore Detroit in April. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The site of the Fillmore was previously home to an earlier theatre known as the Central and then, from 1913-1923, as the Grand Circus Theatre. This theatre was demolished to make way for the 1925 construction of what was then called the Francis Palms Building. The building was named for Francis Palms, a Belgian native who moved to Detroit in 1832 and made his fortune in real estate development. Palms' descendants continued in real estate as the Palms Realty Company, and constructed this building at a time when Detroit's population and the popularity of movies was booming.
The Fillmore Detroit was constructed in 1925 as a movie house in the Renaissance Revival style of architecture. C. Howard Crane was the original architect, and the building is still called the Francis Palms Building.
The theatre was originally called the State Theatre when it opened in 1925. It was renamed the Palms-State Theatre in 1937. In 1949 it was renamed the Palms Theatre. In 1982 it was renamed back to the State Theatre. And in 2007 (as a national re-branding) it was renamed once again, this time the Fillmore Theatre.
The building is twelve stories high and covered with terra cotta, with an eight-story auditorium extending to the rear of the building. The office tower has elaborate Beaux-Arts Italian Renaissance decorations on all but the ground floor, which was modernized in about 1960.
The Fillmore Detroit is a busy concert venue for popular music acts as well as hosting many special events like The Ultimate Black Party, Resolution Ball and Monsters Ball. The venues current seating capacity (with standing room only on the main floor) is 2,888. The mezzanine and balcony levels still contain their original theatre seating. Currently the main floor has a standing room capacity of 1530, and the mezzanine and balcony have a combined seating for 1,358.
The Fillmore Detroit has hosted many all-ages shows as well as adult-only concerts; during 21+ and older events, alcohol sales are offered at several theatre concessions including access to the State Bar & Grill.
In March 2007, Live Nation announced that the State Theatre would become the Fillmore Detroit as part of a multi-city extension of the Fillmore brand, similar to what has been done previously with the House of Blues franchise. Various changes were implemented to evoke the Fillmore's iconic venue in San Francisco, California. The official inaugural show under the Fillmore Detroit re-branding was Fergie's June 13, 2007 performance.
Live Nation has continued the gradual restoration of the magnificent Italian Renaissance theatre. The outer lobby and rotunda lobby were restored in the 1990s. The grand foyer columns and auditorium proscenium arch were more recent restorations. Live Nation has restored the barrel vaulted ceiling of the three story grand foyer, and has plans to work on the upper reaches of the auditorium in increments.
On November 14 & 15 2014, The Fillmore Detroit hosted two sold out shows with The J Geils Band and special guests The Howling Diablos. With over 5,400 concert goers through the door for those two nights, The Fillmore Detroit continues to draw legions of music fans while solidifying itself as one of the top venues in the Midwest. Some additional sold-out shows in 2014 include twenty one pilots, Ryan Adams and alt-J
American Idol 2015
For the first time in 13 season's American Idol took their production on the road. The Top 12 Guys and Top 12 Girls performed for Judges Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick, Jr., Keith Urban and a live audience at the historic Fillmore Detroit. Contestants performed various songs ranging from today's hits to yesterday's classics. American Idol (season 14) #MotorCityIdol premiered on February 25, 2015 with Ryan Seacrest walking the sidewalk of Elizabeth Street along the venue. As Ryan strolls he comments "Tonight we've taken our first ever Idol road trip, from Hollywood to Detroit, Michigan... one of our most important music cities in the nation. Now it's currently 1 degree and the looks like the streets are very deserted but I think I have an inkling where everyone is... aha... LET'S HEAR IT MICHIGAN." The February 25th episode featured the Top 12 Guys and the February 26th episode featured the Top 12 Girls from Season 14. The production of American Idol boasts another grand event to take place in Detroit, MI as well as The Fillmore Detroit. The overall transformation in hosting such a production speaks volumes about the adaptability of The Fillmore Detroit.
The marquee extends over Woodward Avenue
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- Austin, Dan. "The Fillmore Detroit". Historic Detroit. Retrieved August 1, 2014.
- State Theatre/ Francis Palms Building from Detroit1701
- Palms, Francis, Building and State Theater from the state of Michigan
- Hauser, Michael and Marianne Weldon (2006). Detroit's Downtown Movie Palaces (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4102-8.
- Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3.
- Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4.
- Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3270-6.
- The Fillmore Detroit website
- Cinema Treasures website of old movie houses profiles The State Theatre.
- Fillmore Detroit Myspace Page