Encyclopedia Of Detroit

Fillmore (State) Theatre

Built in 1925, the Fillmore Detroit was known as the State Theatre for most of its history. Prior to its renaming, the structure was known as the Palms Theatre, a movie house built in the Renaissance Revival style of architecture. C. Howard Crane was the original architect. When United Detroit Theatres took over its operation, it became the State Theatre. It was later closed as a movie theater in 1983, and remained empty for a number of years until it became Clubland, a dance/concert hall in 1989. Control of the theater passed to Live Nation in 2007, and was named The Fillmore, as part of an attempt to expand their Fillmore brand. 

Built on the site of the former Grand Circus Theatre, The Fillmore Detroit is a stately 12-story building covered in terra cotta, half a block away from the Fox Theatre. Its current seating capacity (with cabaret-style terraced seating and a dance floor) is 2,200. If the original seats were reinstalled and the original grade brought back to the theatre orchestra level, its seating capacity would increase to 3,000. The mezzanine and balcony levels still have their original theatre seating. Currently the main floor has seating for 700, and the mezzanine and balcony have combined seating for 1,500.

The Fillmore Detroit is a busy concert venue for popular music acts, rarely hosting larger, multiple-night, Broadway-style theatre shows like the Fox or Fisher Theatres do. The inaugural show following the Fillmore’s re-branding was a performance by Fergie. To this day, The Fillmore remains a staple of the Detroit theatre community.



Exterior of the Fillmore (State) Theatre, 1985

Palms Building and Theatre exterior, 1975

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