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Detroit Opera House
Detroit Opera House faces Grand Circus Park.
Coordinates 42°20′11″N 83°2′55″W / 42.33639°N 83.04861°W / 42.33639; -83.04861Coordinates: 42°20′11″N 83°2′55″W / 42.33639°N 83.04861°W / 42.33639; -83.04861
Type Opera
Opened January 22, 1922
Location 1526 Broadway Street
Detroit, Michigan 48226
 United States
Renovated 1996
Former name(s) Grand Circus Theater (1960s–1985)
Broadway Capitol Theater (1934–1960s)
Paramount Theater (1929–1934)
Capitol Theater (1922–1929)
Capacity 2,700
Website Detroit Opera House official site
Detroit Opera House
U.S. Historic District Contributing Property
Part of: Grand Circus Park Historic District (#83000894)
Designated CP: February 28, 1983

The Detroit Opera House is an opera house located in Detroit, Michigan. It is the venue for all Michigan Opera Theatre productions and it hosts a variety of other events. It opened on January 22, 1922.

The building is located at 1526 Broadway Street and was originally designed by C. Howard Crane, having created other prominent Detroit theaters such as The Fillmore Detroit, Fox Theater and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's Orchestra Hall, the latter noted for its acoustic perfection.



The Opera House's backhouse extends along Madison Ave.
Old Detroit Opera House (behind fountain) on Campus Martius in 1907.

Over the years, opera has been presented at a variety of venues in Detroit - the Old Detroit Opera House (1869–1963) at Kennedy Square,[1] the Whitney Grand Opera House (Garrick Theatre) at Griswold and Michigan avenues, and the New Detroit Opera House (1886–1928) at Randolph and Monroe streets.[2] The Nederlander Organization, a major theatrical producer, began in Detroit with a 99 year lease on the Old Detroit Opera House in 1912.[3]

The present Detroit Opera House (1922) was originally known as the Capitol Theatre. It was among the first of several performance venues built around Detroit's Grand Circus Park. When it opened, the theater was the fifth largest in the world, seating up to 4,250 people. In 1929, the Capitol Theater's name was changed to the Paramount Theater, and in 1934 was changed again, to the Broadway Capitol Theater.[2]

During the first few decades of the building's history, it featured artists such as jazz legends Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, although at one point the business at the Paramount Theatre had decreased so substantially that in desperation it was converted into a movie theatre, specializing in soft core porn.

Following a minor restoration in the 1960s, the building became the 3,367-seat Grand Circus Theatre.[A] The building was closed in 1978, then reopened in 1981 only to close again in 1985.

In 1988, the Michigan Opera Theatre purchased the building and gave it its present name of Detroit Opera House,[2] after an extensive restoration and stage expansion. The reopening in 1996 was celebrated with a gala event featuring Luciano Pavarotti and other noted artists. The Detroit Opera House is now configured with seating for an audience of 2,700. Since 1996, the opera house has annually hosted five opera productions, five dance productions from touring companies, and a variety of other musical and comedy events.[2]

Starting in 2010, the Detroit Opera House has agreed to host a weekly Sunday church service for Triumph Church, a Christian megachurch of Detroit.[citation needed]


A. ^ a  The name Grand Circus Theatre may cause confusion, since another Grand Circus Theatre (1913–1924), originally known as the Central Theatre, once stood at 2115 Woodward Avenue. What is now The Fillmore Detroit Theatre (1925) arose on the same site at 2115 Woodward.[4]


  1. ^ Bluestone, Daniel M., Columbia University, (September 1988).Detroit's City Beautiful and the Problem of Commerce Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. XLVII, No. 3, pp. 245–62. Retrieved on May 18, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d DiChiera, David, Director.The Story of the Detroit Opera House.Michigan Opera Theatre. Retrieved on November 24, 2007.
  3. ^ About Us Page - The Nederlander Organization. Retrieved on August 27, 2009.
  4. ^ Hauser, Michael and Marianne Weldon (2006). Downtown Detroit's Movie Palaces (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4102-8. 


  • Hauser, Michael and Marianne Weldon (2006). Downtown Detroit's Movie Palaces (Images of America). Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-4102-8. 
  • Hill, Eric J. and John Gallagher (2002). AIA Detroit: The American Institute of Architects Guide to Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3120-3. 
  • Meyer, Katherine Mattingly and Martin C.P. McElroy with Introduction by W. Hawkins Ferry, Hon A.I.A. (1980). Detroit Architecture A.I.A. Guide Revised Edition. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1651-4. 
  • Sharoff, Robert (2005). American City: Detroit Architecture. Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-3270-6. 
  • Sobocinski, Melanie Grunow (2005). Detroit and Rome: building on the past. Regents of the University of Michigan. ISBN 0933691092. 

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