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rbdetsport

Ilitch Holdings

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http://www.crainsdetroit.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?newsId=6412

I don't know about this. I think Illitch is just doing this to get all the people off his back to "assure" them that he is trying to find developers to redevelop his buildings. But what do I know. This is a thread to beotch about Illitch or just praise him. I do know he is not even worthy to have his own thread, but I am giving it anyways.

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I just read this... I cannot believe it!

Makes you wonder why the "not developers, not real estate" company

decided to do something.

This is good as well as a bit fishy.

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I actually think the Illitches are FINALLY getting the picture. They can't sit too much longer on any more of these properties, especially with ones redeveloping ALL around them. It looks like they are beginning to crack under the pressure. The excuse that "there is no market there to redevelop these properties" are becoming less and less true every year.

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I actually think the Illitches are FINALLY getting the picture.  They can't sit too much longer on any more of these properties, especially with ones redeveloping ALL around them.  It looks like they are beginning to crack under the pressure.  The excuse that "there is no market there to redevelop these properties" are becoming less and less true every year.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Well said, i agree 100%

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I think that if the office building is renovated, eventually they will tear down the theater or redevelop it later on. At least I am hoping the first renovation includes putting the theater to use. Maybe they could pull another Michigan theater and have dedicated parking included in the renovation even though they already have parking lots around them.

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Actually, I don't care at all for the theater portion. Allan has said before that all decoration has been destroyed. Basically, what you have left now is a brick and concrete box that has no architectural value. If I'm not mistaken, I believe the lobby was redone a long time ago, and looks bad. Therefore, the lobby could be redone to fit the scale of an office tower. The theater would demolished and parking garage would be built onto the back. That way the tower could easily attract tenants. Besides, the tower is the part we all seem to care about the most, and it is the only portion of the building that has any exterior architectural detail.

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I don't care about any of the other theaters either. Their days are gone. If any new theaters are built downtown, they will be ciniplexes or movie theaters.

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Perhaps that All Star game knocked some sense into the man. A lot of the buzz was how downtown has improved and aside from the stadium the man has had nothing to do with it. I hope he gets people for all the sites but personally Id like to see him go after the Madison Lenox site big time. My guess is that with be last unfortunately.

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The United Artists is salvageable and saveable

It's only a 2,000 seat theater. Ilitch HAS the money to save the theater.

The Capitol was in worse condition but yet it got restored.

Being in this theater (UA), I know it still has potential. There is photos of the theater to help recreate what it once was. Half of the plaster could be copied with molds such as the lobby maidens and the auditorium.

Don't loose hope kids, anything is possible. Tell Ilitch we want every bit saved and it CAN happen.

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I personally dont think so. It would be better served being torn down for some sort of parking for the office portion.

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No, there is not. Even cities as cultured as Ann Arbor don't have the number of theaters as Detroit does. There isn't enough demand for more than what we already have.

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That's what I thought. Outside of a few key cities in this country, there is no demand for more theaters. Like I said, if anything it would be a modern ciniplex, and then they'd might as well just build new somewhere else.

And Zissou brings up a good point. If this is indeed renovated sooner rather than later (and before effective mass transist is introduced there needs to be parking for any future office tenants, and especially residential tenants if it goes lofts.

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If the National Theater gets redeveloped (and it does sound like that will happen), there is no way Detroit could support a renovated United Artists. In that case, the only chance for the UA is to properly mothball it and wait for the right time, which may or may not ever come along.

The UA is restorable, yes, but it would take huge sums of money. You'll have a hard time finding someone - Ilitch or anyone else - to put up the money required to return it to its former glory. It would take upwards of $20 million to restore it. Then whoever puts forth all that money has to try & recoup the costs of the renovation.

As much as I hate to see the theater go, especially with its unique architectural style and history, I say salvage what few details you can (which isn't much) & put a well-designed parking garage for the United Artists Building Lofts in its place.

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If the National Theater gets redeveloped (and it does sound like that will happen), there is no way Detroit could support a renovated United Artists.

While I know what you are getting at, I don't believe that it true for one second. With the number of new plays coming out of the area (film too), the amount of time major traveling shows sell out, and the city's well deserved reputation of a musical hot-spot, there is more than enough need for theatre space.

Remember there are only 2 major movie theatres in the city right now.

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I think he was talking about theaters, as opposed to movie theaters. There IS demand and a market for first fun movie plexes in the city. And while I'm sure there are room for smaller theaters, there doesn't seem to be much demand for anything the size of the United Artist.

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I agree with jsmyers, it depends on what you put in it. It could house a permanent repertory company, maybe an extension of the WSU theater program. It could even be converted into a club like the House of Blues. The HOBs in Chicago is in an old theater.

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I'm saying their is a demand for a theatre.

It is smaller than the Fox.

The Fox, Fisher, and Masonic have some of the highest attendance around.

The Opera House, Orchestra Hall, and Music Hall, are great non-profit venues.

I fully believe that if it were restored, properly marketed, and shows were brought in, it would be successful.

I do question how much demand for huge movie space there is, but this is my vision:

The stage is used for traveling productions, concerts, local plays, comedy shows, etc. and when it is not used for that, it is the only place in the country that you can see a film in a grand old movie palace. A few smaller screeening rooms could be built around the main hall to show other movies, and to cast a wider net.

I can't even name all of the local stage companies. Some of them would like a space bigger than the City or the Gem, but they can't get into the Fox, and the State isn't set up for that. I also beleive that having more stages will help encourage the development of local theatre talent, which now quickly outgrows Detroit and moves to Toronto, Chicago, or NY.

Also, how many poeple from Michigan (or IN or OH) do you know that have traveled to Chicago and saw a show? Detroit doesn't get much of that action because we don't have enough stages, and the umph to market downtown as a destination. After the ASG and likely SBXL, I think will we see that the marketing can come easily. Why should people from Kzoo take the train to Chicago everytime? Shouldn't they take the train to Detroit some of the time?

I admit I am looking long-term and thinking ambitiously, but the UA isn't going to get fixed up over night. And Detroit must be agressive and ambitious.

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Detroit has more theater seating than Chicago and is second only to New York when it comes to cities east of the Mississippi. The reason Detroit's theaters make so much money is that the market is not oversaturated with a ton of theaters. If there was such a demand the Ford Auditorium would be the first place to be renovated. It isnt as damaged as the UA and some others. Detroit gets plenty of stage acts, unfortunately it will never be the regional draw that Chicago is.

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unfortunately it will never be the regional draw that Chicago is.

Why do you say never? Never say never.

There was a time where some people would have said the opposite.

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While I wouldn't want to see the UA theatre go I can understand both sides of the argument. As for the National, that's my favorite theatre and seeing it turned into a venue for Landmark's films to be shown would be wonderful. I greatly dislike having to travel all the way to Royal Oak to see an alternative film. I think that the National is the right size for such a use. If I'm not mistaken it only has one screen right? I hope people could tolerate that as they do in other cities.

WS

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Why do you say never?  Never say never.

There was a time where some people would have said the opposite.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Fine. Not in my lifetime. Is that better?

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I just don't see someone going to the expense of renovating the UA as theatre even if it does show movies between stages shows. The renovation of the Capitol into Opera House cost $25million a structure without an attached office block. Once you add the cost renovating a 20 story building that's going to add another 10 million to the project. This on a project whose market is questionable at best.

Given these conditions demoltion of the theatre and renovating the office block as mixed use is the most likely outcome. Even something like that is difficult enough in Detroit.

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