Historic Detroit

Grand Quarters

This two-screen theater opened as the Duplex Theatre on Dec. 15, 1915, and was designed by Fuller Claflin, who also was the architect of the Gayety Theatre downtown on Cadillac Square. It was built for silent films, and was then renovated into a sound movie house.

Each auditorium sat 750 people. It became the Oriole Terrace in 1922, and legendary architect C. Howard Crane transformed it into a ballroom. During this time, it was run by Jean Goldkette and operated as a jazz hall.

It was transformed into the Grand Terrace.

The building caught fire in April 1940, and became the Latin Quarter after that, which is when it became a legendary soul venue. Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Sammy Davis Jr. were among those who performed there. In 1960, the venue hosted the NAACP.

It then finally became the Grand Quarters, seeing everyone from Jane’s Addiction to Skinny Puppy to Sonic Youth to the Butthole Surfers to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to 1990s one-hit wonder Jesus Jones play there.

The theater was abandoned around the turn of the 21st century.

The building was one of 50 sites targeted for demolition by Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in 2008. It was finally brought down in late December 2011.