Project Description

The Grand Quarters Theater was built in 1915 and was originally built as The Duplex Theater.  The Duplex Theater was located at 3075 E. Grand Boulevard, near the corner of John R., in the New Center neighborhood in Detroit.  The Duplex Theater was designed by architect, Fuller Claflin.   The Duplex Theater was built as a movie theater with two screens that simultaneously played two different movies.  Each theater at the Duplex Theater seated approximately 750 people.

Realizing the need for a dance hall in the neighborhood, the Duplex Theater was renovated into a ballroom in 1923.  Legendary architect, C. Howard Crane, was in charge of transformed the theater into a ballroom and dance hall.  The Duplex Theater was renamed the Oriole Terrace and then the Grand Terrace.

In 1940, the Grand Terrace caught fire, was heavily damaged , and was forced to close for a while.  After fixing the damage that the fire caused, the Grand Terrace was reopened as The Latin Quarters.  The Latin Quarters became a live music venue for jazz and blues.  Famous musicians such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Sammy Davis Jr. were among those who performed there.

In 1960, the Latin Quarters was chosen to be the host for the NAACP annual event.  The event was a huge success for the Latin Quarters, but unfortunately, the theater stared to go downhill after the NAACP event.

By the 1970’s, the music had changed and so did the crowds at the Latin Quarters.  In 1973, the Latin Quarters became the Grand Quarters.  The Grand Quarters did little to change the looks of the interior, but they certainly changed the sound.  The live music venue had switched it’s sound from jazz and blues to soul and rock n’ roll.  Artists that performed during these years included Bob Segar, The Temptations, Ray Charles, James Brown, and Al Green.  By the time the 1990’s were here, the sound of Grand Quarters switched yet again.  The Grand Quarters music was now alternative and grunge-rock.  Artists that played at the Grand Quarters during this time included, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jane’s Addiction, Sonic Youth, Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, Danzig, and Henry Rollins.

The Grand Quarters Theater closed in 1993, ending a long era of great live music. The Grand Quarters was demolished in 2011.

As of 2015, the former sire of the Grand Quarters Theater is a vacant field.