Lee Theatre

Address: 9470 Main St.
City: Whitmore Lake
State: MI
Zip: 48189
County: Washtenaw
Open: 1940s
Capacity:
Owner History:
Number of visits to this page: 2983
Notes:

This theater goes back to at least the 1950's, probably before. It was run by Rex Kinne until 1959. Rex had a heart attack so he sold the theater to Harry Jones. Sadly Rex passed away in 1960. I am not sure how long the theater was open after it was taken over by the new owners.

A submitter indicated it was located on main street where a coney island and bowling alley stands as of 2021. I have used the address of the Coney Island as an approximate location. I have searched high and low for photos of the old theater but have had no luck so far. I will keep digging, somebody somewhere must have something on it.

From Jacob Donner, Whitmore Lake Historian: The Lee theater was built after the second world war by Ed Carrow who named it after his brother who was killed in the war. Carrow sold the business as well as the South Lyon theater to Mr.Kinne around 1951. The Lee became storage for All Star beverages until it burned in 1967. The below picture is the Lee theater fire.

Info Updates:
6/28/2021 - Jacob Donner
The Lee Theater actually stood in the small parking lot to the south of the Coney building. The theater and restaurant portion were actually attached to each other. The restaurant survived the fire and the bowling alley was later added on.
4/25/2013 - Sandra Huhtala
Rex Kinnie also owned the Lyon Theater in south Lyon in the 1950s. He drove our school bus (for South Lyon Schools) and gave us the upcoming film information if we asked. We attended movies at the Lyon weekly as a family or the Lee in Whitmore Lake.
10/3/2007 - jim caruso

I used to go to the Lee when i was a kid, in the mid 50's. My dad would take the whole family at least once a week during the summer. It was the only air-conditioned place in town. It showed first run movies, many times before they showed in Detroit. They changed features twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday.

The cost was 25 cents for adults and a dime for kids under 12. They tore it down some years ago. Now there is a restaurant with a bowling ally behind it on that site. It was right on the main street which is Old US23 now. At that time It was just US23. The freeway wasn't built yet. I wish it was still there.

10/30/2006 - WaterWinterWonderland
I am very curious about this theater, I have been through that area many times and the location does not reveal itself. After visiting thousands of existing and former movie houses, generally I can spot them. Not so here. I will keep looking!
12/19/2003 - Box Office Magazine
February 1959 - Rex Kinnie of the Lee Theatre at Whitmore Lake, and one of the Filmrow's most frequent visitors, is recuperating at St. Joseph Hospital, Ann Arbor, following a heart attack. Mrs. Kinnie was taken ill while visiting him and hospitalized for a few days. Lloyd Turel is taking over buying and booking for Kinnie during his illness, along with his other accounts.
12/2/2003 - Box Office Magazine
April 1959 Issue - Mrs. Gladys E. Kinne assumed operation of the late Rex Kinnies Lee at Whitmore Lake, with Lloyd Turel booking.
 Photos:8
Lee Theatre - PHOTO OF FIRE FROM JACOB DONNER
PHOTO OF FIRE FROM JACOB DONNER
Lee Theatre - PHOTO OF FIRE FROM JACOB DONNER
PHOTO OF FIRE FROM JACOB DONNER
Lee Theatre - THE NOW DEMOLISHED LEE THEATER ONCE RESIDED ON THIS SPOT
THE NOW DEMOLISHED LEE THEATER ONCE RESIDED ON THIS SPOT
Lee Theatre - OLD AD
OLD AD
Lee Theatre - CHANGES HANDS OCT 29 1959
CHANGES HANDS OCT 29 1959
Lee Theatre - OWNER PASSES AWAY JAN 7 1960
OWNER PASSES AWAY JAN 7 1960
Lee Theatre - 1955 AERIAL SEEMS TO BE THE RIGHT BUILDING
1955 AERIAL SEEMS TO BE THE RIGHT BUILDING
Lee Theatre - OCT 01 1952 ADS FOR VARIOUS LOCAL THEATERS
OCT 01 1952 ADS FOR VARIOUS LOCAL THEATERS
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