Abandoned Highland Park Theatre is Like Nothing You’ve Seen Before
A once popular hot spot along Woodward Avenue, the Highland Park Theatre now looks like something out of an apocalyptic movie.
This 600-capacity theater was built in 1915 and at one time was the center of controversy.
After the boom times of the city ended, the theater changed names several times and became the Paris Theater, Hiland Arts Theater, and the Fancy Pants. The center of controversy for its shady owner, who was eventually arrested on indecency charges for running prostitution from the club; to even being named as the possible strip club where the fight took place that eventually led to the brutal murder of Vincent Chin in 1982, this place closed for good in the 1990s and has been abandoned ever since.
Some people on social media challenge that it was ever really called Fancy Pants and that Vincent Chin was murdered there. Some of the facts may have been misconstrued over the years.
The photos below, courtesy of Detroit Unseen were taken in 2011.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter this property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing on private property.
As far as we know, the building is still standing today which is a shock due to the condition it was in back in 2011.
I would imagine by now that the entire roof has caved in.
Nature is quickly making a comeback inside the theatre.
A large fire in July of 2011 burned through the Highland Furniture store next door, doing minor damage to the theater.
According to Detroiturbex, until the fall of 2011, most of the original theater chairs were still in place, though rusted and rotting. A few months later scrappers had smashed all of them for what little metal was left. it must have happened shortly after these photos were taken.
It's unclear when the photo below was taken but it's the most recent one we could find from Google Stree View.
The Highland sits on a block that is surrounded by other decaying buildings. Most of the block has been deserted.
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Gallery Credit: George McIntyre