It’s almost Spring here around the El Moore Midtown neighborhood, and as the robins return and the flowers start to appear, we start to shed our heavy winter wear and see what else is blossoming in and around the Cass Corridor. One of the many great things about Detroit is that a lot of the historic buildings have been preserved over the years, and so when new owners have new ideas for old buildings, most are structurally sound enough to refurbish. That’s what we did with the El Moore building, built in 1898, and that’s what’s happening all around us. This week, we are going to profile not one, but two, exciting new entertainment venues within walking distance from the El Moore: Cinema Detroit and the Shag Bar, both on Third Street.
If you are a lover of indie films, you will also love visiting Cinema Detroit, a 7-day-a-week first-run movie theater that features a mix of contemporary, classic, indie, cult, and genre-focused movies in a remodeled furniture factory. Located at 4126 Third Street, Cinema Detroit is also a non-profit educational institution that focuses on the arts in our community and offers free off-street parking if you do drive down from the ‘burbs. Founded by lifelong Detroiters Paula and Tim Guthat, Cinema Detroit and the movie theater ensures a local flavor with concessions such as Faygo pop (yes, POP, not “soda”) and other locally-made treats, and freshly made popcorn. Can’t you just smell the ambiance?
You can help support Cinema Detroit by purchasing different types of annual memberships that range from $35 to $75 and come with additional perks. You can find more information about Cinema Detroit on Twitter and Instagram, and yes, there’s an app for that—for show times and ticket purchases right from your iPhone.
When you’re ready for a beverage stronger than Faygo, you will soon be able to go right down the street to the Shag Bar, formerly known as the Willis Street Bar, opening by summer 2016 at 4156 Third Street near Willis, as soon as the liquor license application is approved. The original Willis Bar, located in a beautiful Art Deco-style building, was a jazz club that opened in 1949, but deteriorated so much over the decades that the City closed it down in 1975. The owner of Shag Bar is renovating the 3,000 square-foot building to feature an environment filled with mid-century furniture, and a new bar, kitchen, patio, and lounge. The Willis Bar was housed in a beautiful building when it opened, and the new Shag Bar will be just as beautiful.