Theatre Bizarre

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Not to be confused with The Theatre Bizarre.
Theatre Bizarre
Theatre Bizarre.jpg
The main stage and midway of Theatre Bizarre, Detroit, Michigan
Genre Masquerade
Date(s) Late October
Begins 7pm
Ends sunrise
Frequency Annual
Location(s) 967 W. State Fair Road, Detroit, MI (1999–2009); The Fillmore Detroit (2010); Detroit Masonic Temple (2011).
Years active 17
Attendance 2500

Theatre Bizarre is an annual Halloween masquerade staged in a residential Detroit neighborhood. Occupying several adjoining properties, the grounds include a haunted house, a Ferris wheel and several stages that accommodate over 150 performers each year. The performers include local and national music acts, burlesque dancers, suspension artists and sideshow "freaks".[1] Included in the national acts that have played at Theatre Bizarre are The Enigma, Mucca Pazza and winner of the 2010 Miss Exotic World Pageant, Roxi Dlite.


In 1999, John Dunivant was ejected from Detroit's Russell Industrial Center, where he'd held studio space and staged a large Halloween party each year. He and Ken Poirier, who owned several properties just south of the Michigan State Fairgrounds, laid the groundwork for what would eventually become Theatre Bizarre.[2]

Since that time, the grounds have played host to multiple masquerades and other public events as well as serving as the backdrop for several independent films and the music video for King Gordy's Nightmares.

In 2010, the city of Detroit moved to close down the grounds, based on a variety of zoning violations, causing the event and its 2500 attendees to be moved at the last minute to the Fillmore Theater (formerly The State Theater).[3] A documentary film of the Theatre and its history is currently in production.[4]

In June 2011, The Kresge Foundation named John Dunivant as one of its 2011 Visual Arts Fellows.[5]

The October 2011 performance of Theatre Bizarre was held in the Detroit Masonic Temple, the largest building of its kind in the world, allowing for an attendance of up to 5000 partygoers.


  1. ^ "Fright club". Metro Times. 2003-10-29. Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  2. ^ Terek, Donna (2009-11-01). "Theatre Bizarre: A bloody imaginative fantasy party". Detroit News. Retrieved 2011-06-16. 
  3. ^ Chapman, Mary M. "The New York Times", 2010. Accessed May 2011
  4. ^ Bredow, Gary. "Big Bang Films blog", 2011.
  5. ^ Wright, Travis R. "Metro Times", 2011

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