The Fillmore Detroit
Deftones played the Fillmore Detroit
on the eve of its official rebranding
|Location||2115 Woodward Avenue
|Former name(s)||State Theatre
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. The Detroit Music Awards are held annually at The Fillmore Detroit in April. 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. During many concerts the lower seating is removed for dancing. 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's 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 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, and rarely hosts larger, multiple-night, Broadway-style theatre shows like the Fox Theatre does. Its current seating capacity (with cabaret style terraced seating and a dance floor) is 2,200. If the original seats (in storage) were reinstalled and the original grade brought back to the theatre orchestra level, its seating would be 3,000. The mezzanine and balcony levels still contain their original theatre seating. Currently the main floor has seating for 700, and the mezzanine and balcony have a combined seating for 1,500.
All-age shows as well as adult-only concerts are held; during 21 years plus 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 their 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.
The marquee extends over Woodward Avenue
- Hauser, Michael and Marianne Weldon (2006). Downtown Detroit's 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