The ornamental, dome ceiling on the long-abandoned Eastown Theatre in Detroit has collapsed as scrappers continue to remove steel beams from the historic movie palace at Harper and Van Dyke.
Scrappers have been scavenging steel from the roof of the 2,500-seat theater at Harper and Van Dyke since at least February, ending whatever tiny hope remained of saving the long-neglected building.
The theater opened as a movie palace in October 1931 in a stable east-side neighborhoods. In 1969, the Eastown became a rock venue and attracted the Kinks, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, Cream, Yes, Fleetwood Mac, Steppenwolf, King Crimson, MC5 and the Stooges, according to our friends at HistoricDetroit.org.
The aging building hosted raves until the late 1990s.
The theater, which has been heavily scavenged, is surrounded by blight. Vacant homes and storefronts dominate the area. Crime is persistent.
It’s only a matter of time before the theater is demolished.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.