25 photos chronicling the demise of the Eastown Theatre in Detroit

The Eastown Theatre, a once-elegant movie palace that became a legendary rock venue in the 1960s and ’70s on Detroit’s east side, has been reduced to rubble.

A demolition crew knocked down the final walls today after the city ordered an emergency demolition

The Eastown opened in 1931 as a movie palace and later hosted some of the top rock bands: The Grateful Dead, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, Cream, Yes, Grand Funk Railroad, Steppenwolf, King Crimson and MC5.

Demolition began nearly two weeks ago on an adjacent apartment building that had collapsed from a fire.

There are no plans to replace the theater at the corner of Harper and Van Dyke, where a once-strong blue-collar neighborhood has devolved into one of the most blighted and vacant areas of the city.

All photos by Steve Neavling.

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Theater in 2012.
National Theatre in 2014 after scrappers began ripping apart the roof.
National Theatre in 2014 after scrappers began ripping apart the roof.

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  • banmar

    Steve, did you see the rainbows on your pictures — second to last on page one, first picture on page two? Hopefully they’re symbolic of better times to come.

  • Tim Burke

    Nice Photo’s Steve. good to see you be safe