Project Description

The Fine Arts Theater was originally The Addison Theater and was built in 1913 at 2952 Woodward Ave, right on the edge of downtown Detroit. The Addison Theater was designed by famous theater-architect C. Howard Crane.  The Addison Theater was relatively small as compared to some of C. Howard Crane’s other major theaters in Detroit, such as the United Artists theater or the Fox Theater.  The Addison Theater could only seat up to 600 people for an event.  Not too long after the theater opened, it began to show more and more movies.  That’s when The Addison Theater became the Fine Arts Theater.

The Fine Arts Theater struggled, as much of Detroit did, during the 1980’s and 1990’s.  It was around 1996 that the Fine Arts Theater was converted into a night club, in hopes of bringing in some of the crowds from the “rave” scene, which was gaining huge popularity in Detroit around the time.  The Fine Arts Theater has closed several times over the years and changed ownership at least three times since 1996.  The Fine Arts Theater has a troubled and haunting past, which has made it difficult to sell and re-purposed.   The previous owner, Valerie Atikian, was murdered and was found shot in the head in the theater’s bathroom.  The owner before that, Joseph Foster, was also murdered in 1997.  Both homicide cases are still unsolved.  After the death of the last owner, the Fine Arts Theater closed it’s doors for good.  That was back in 2007 and has been abandoned ever since.