The National Theater of Detroit Michigan is the oldest theater in the city. It was built in 1911 and closed down in 1975. The structure is labeled historic, so it cannot be torn down. The theater sat 800 patrons during nearly every performance.
The theater opened with comedy acts, song and dance in 1911. In a strange twist, the theater closed in 1975 with multiple showings of adult films (pornography). Reports indicate the adult films hit the National in 1970 and continued up until their closing date.
The theater was sold in 1976 for $35,000 and never reopened. The building was later sold again in 1977 to a man who wanted to turn it into a restaurant. The idea never materialized as the theater had unpaid back taxes.
In 1999 the theater was sold again, but plans for turning it back into a theater died when it was learned it would cost between $12 million and $20 million to renovate.
Today, the theater sits empty and boarded up.