Royal Theatre - Detroit MI

Address: 10709 W 7-Mile Rd
City: Detroit
State: MI
Zip: 48221
County: Wayne
Open: 1940
Capacity: 2496
Owner History: Wisper-Wetsman
Theater Type: Neighborhood House
Number of visits to this page: 14283

Please note that location entries may feature older photos or post card views that may not represent the current appearance, features, addresses, phone numbers, or contact names of the attraction. This site is intended to be a historical as well as current record of various attractions but it is not always possible to have up-to-date information due to the vast number of locations featured here. We ask you consult the propietor for current information.

General Information:

Source: Chris Dodge

The Royal Theater was located on 7 mile rd. South side, east of Meyers, in Detroit. East from Meyers was the main parking lot, the theater, then a dry cleaners and then a side street. Continuing East and crossing the side street was a Zukins ice cream parlor. The parking lot continued behind the theater and south of that was New Grace Hospital. I worked there from 1960 t0 1964 as an usher, then as a relief manager.

I experienced several renovations as the auditorium was repainted and the seating reduced for more better spacing/comfort. The Royal was a great theater. I was and still am sorry it was demolished. I believe a Super K Mart was built on the site but a Home Depot is open there now. Sadly, I have no pictures or any other memorabilia. If anyone has such items, please post on this site.

Info Updates:
11/20/2015 - R.bull
I REMEMBER THE ROYAL THEATER AS WELL. i always wondered why it closed down! I went to Mumford High School and lived in the area. this movie house was a treat i saw The Flim Flam man here. In the Heat of The Night and i do be-leave Spartacus and many other nice films. this was a very nice show and i can remember a few times the ushers kicking us out for being silly loud kids. It was a pleasant walk as well. other shows in the area was the Mercury (6mile/Schafer),The Varsity(Livernois/ 6 mile) was closed by the time i knew it was there and a few other.
8/3/2014 - leslie yates vanhollebeke
So glad to have happened upon this site. Been 50 years since I worked there. 1st as a candy girl and then cashier/payroll. Loved John Ferger (the manager) like a father! We employees were NOT encouraged to date. which, of course, encourages us to date secretly. lol Met my husband there! This theater was HUGE! Thanks for posting the pix. Wonderful 1st job/1st love memories! I see co-worker and friend Chris Dodge posted on here some years ago. lost track of you. if you see this. find me on FB.
6/17/2014 - A.Bostic sr.
The Royals location was about 50ft west of the road on the right and right in the drive to the left the structure being built is a Checkers restaurant the street to the right is Montevista,the drive leads to Home Depot this is where Grace Hospital stood when the Royal closed the hospital bought it for storage so when the hospital closed everything was torn down after a lot of years past a/c of contamination in the ground from the hospital,K Mart was the first store to build there but soon closed because of high theft.
12/3/2012 - Michael Meinhardt
I was a new employee at Grace Hospital in 1986. Our department was responsible for the demolition of the Royal. The hospital needed the space for parking. We contacted the historical society and they came out to take artifacts and pictures. They also removed the 4 large (about 5' x 8') plaster relief murals from the curved lobby walls. They told me they would store them at historic Fort Wayne. The basement was a designated bomb shelter and there was a caregivers apartment on the second floor. Wish I could've seen the building in the 40s or 50s. It was really neat before they demolished it.
1/2/2009 - Bob Heitjan
I worked there in the late 60's. I went to school right down the street at U-D High. It was the best. It had an apartment suite on the top floor. In the kitchen of the suite, the gals would melt the butter to be used for popcorn sales, then carry it down to be emptied into warmers. The basement featured a cavernous candy storage room that was crammed with every variety carried by the theater. I have many memories from the Royal. I had my first taste of Southern Comfort there in the candy room. Another was that only one movie would be shown at a time, so you would tend to memorize all the lines and the music. Case in point - when "In the Heat of the Night" airs on TV, I have a blast with all the dialogue and the songs. Another memory was the showing of sporting events live via closed circuit television. I can remember working the showing of the Indy 500 in 1967. The building also housed a couple other businesses on the block as well. One was a restaurant/diner called Bobo's. I can remember having my first sampling of hashed brown potatoes at Bobo's. But the thing that really stands out for me was my working there on the first day of the Detroit Riot on July 23rd, a Sunday. A few of us ushers had attended the Tigers baseball game, then arrived at the Royal to work the evening shift. I can remember standing in the Royal parking lot and seeing National Guard helicopters on their way to the riot zone from the Eight Mile Armory. It seemed like they barely would clear the rooftops. You could plainly see the Guardsmen with their rifles trained out the windows. A couple hours later, plain clothed police officers came in and told us we'd have to close down and send the people home due to the spreading riot and curfew. I'll not forget the Royal. Thanks for the pictures and the memories.
9/12/2008 - GERALD G GLOVER
Oh how well I remember The Royal theater. I grew up on Washburn and 8 mile and would go to the matinee's on Saturdays. This was one of the nicest neighborhood theaters. We had the Westowh on Wyoming; the Varsity on Livernois; the Mercury on Shafer; and the Duke on 8 mile which closed in '58 or '58. The Royal was really kind of a classy joint showing first run movies. I saw IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT with Rod Stieger and Sidney Portier; also LILY'S OF THE FIELDS with Portier. A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD played there at the Royal as well as DR STRANGLOVE, or how I stopped worrying and love the bomb! Boy, my memories are flooding with movies; how about THE APPARTMENT Shirlly McClaine and Jack lemmon. One great memory of The Royal was when Alfried Hitchcocks' PSYCHO first came out; our family had seen all of the great Hitchcock movies at the Westside drive-in, on 8 mile, so I could't wait to see this new film. Alas, a teenage friend of the family came back from The Royal and told my parents that the movie was too scarry for us kids; I was 10 at the time. So my parents let the teen babysit us and they went alone. I will never forget this. It was 10 years more before I saw that movie and by that time knew all about it. This is why I never tell anyone about a movie; especially the end. MY FAIR LADY played the Royal also I remember when Jerry Lewis had the new movie out CINDERFELLA that the show was packed with people!!!! THE MIRACLE WORKER; SARGENTS 3; HUSH HUSH SWEET CHARLOTTE; FATHER GOOSE; McHALES NAVY and on and on my memories flood!!!! Oh what I would'nt give to go back to those wonderful times when people were friendly and happy!! The Royal was one of the reasons that made it so!!!
5/29/2008 - Chris Dodge
Pix supplied by Mike R. are greatly appreciated. Interesting to read the comments from M.Kole and wonder what he's up to. All the time we worked together at Perry, the Royal Theater days never came up. Comments about the aerial photo sound accurate. Meyers did not "dog leg" at 7 mile so that picture is not the correct block.
4/15/2008 - mickey kole
remember it well..brings back a lot of fond memories. lived in the neighborhood.took a lot of high school dates to the royal, encluding a very special spinner.. noticed chis dodges notes. remember chris from the old perry days..its been a long time. hope all is well with chris.
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
From Mike Rivest Movie-Theater Org
Royal Theatre - Was Here Somewhere
Was Here Somewhere
Royal Theatre - Dec 22 1940 Opening
Dec 22 1940 Opening © 2024 Over 73,670,161 Served