Detroit's Majestic Theatre to undergo $1 million renovation, replicating original marquee from 1935

First phases of project to begin this month

Majestic Theatre on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. (The Majestic Facebook page)

DETROIT – Detroit's historic Majestic Theatre will undergo a $1 million renovation project this year.

The project is to restore the outside façade and make improvements to the first-floor café, stage and concert area.

"We think the future is brighter than ever in Detroit and now is the perfect time to invest and grow our business," says Dave Zainea, owner of the Majestic. "We will now be able to bring more top-notch bands and performers to midtown. The renovations we are undertaking will enhance the concert going experience for our customers and it will also add to the bustling environment happening outside our doors. This project will add jobs and help improve the local economy in Detroit. We are very happy to have this wonderful opportunity." 

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The first of three phases in the million-dollar renovation plan begins this month.

They include replicating the original marquee from 1935 with limestone and black granite accents; installing a street box office, lobby bar and upgraded restrooms; removing drapes, installing new stage flooring, conducting electrical improvements and restoring ceilings inside the concert venue as well as improving sound systems.  

"This is a definite upside for the neighborhood," says Sue Mosey, executive director of Midtown Detroit Inc. "The Majestic's restoration and renovation plans along with its partnership with AEG will not only be great for the neighborhood because of the investment but it will also attract larger crowds to the area."  

"We're very excited to be part of the restoration of such a historic and famed music venue in Detroit," says Jason Rogalewski, AEG Presents Vice President of Talent. "The Majestic is a celebrated club that we've all enjoyed seeing amazing performances at throughout the years.  Our team looks forward to promoting over 100 concerts a year at the legendary theatre and helping to continue its time-honored status as concert venue in the market." 

The Majestic Theatre is located on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008. The Theatre, designed by C. Howard Crane, opened on April 1, 1915. It originally seated 1,651 people (at the time the largest theatre in the world built for the purpose of showing movies), and the facade was designed in an arched Italian style. In 1934, the front 35 feet of the theatre were removed when Woodward Avenue was widened to its present size.

There is a myth that legendary magician Harry Houdini gave his last performance on stage at the Majestic on Halloween night in 1926. In fact, Houdini last performed at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit and died a few days later of peritonitis at Detroit's Grace Hospital on October 31, 1926. 

About the Author:

Ken Haddad has proudly been with WDIV/ClickOnDetroit since 2013. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters, and helps lead the WDIV Insider team. He's a big sports fan and is constantly sipping Lions Kool-Aid.