Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Masonic Temple in Detroit Files For Bankruptcy?

Detroit's iconic Masonic Temple has filed for bankruptcy.
Or has it?

Word first came out this morning that the building had filed for protection, but additional reports state that the third party outside promoter that ran the building's events for a few years is the one that actually filed for bankruptcy.  So...does the landmark live on?

Built in the 1920's, this building has been the home for some unbelievable concerts and the finest in touring Broadway shows.  Unfortunately the economic downturn, coupled with fierce competition, has been downright punishing on the event bookings calendar here in the past decade.  A quick scan of their website's upcoming EVENTS page doesn't look too promising. Although despite today's news, Adam Ant is still scheduled to play the "Jack White Theater" on August 27th.

Coincidentally, I took a free tour of the Masonic last week and it's a fascinating building.
If you've ever wondered about the hulking structure and its spectacular architecture, call ahead and schedule an afternoon tour.  (I assume they will still be giving them?!)

With somewhere close to 1037 rooms, this place is enormous.  The Masonic fraternity Lodge Rooms are incredibly ornate and a history lesson of the Freemasons is an added bonus to be sure while sitting in these two-story high acoustically perfect areas.

The main theater itself is really beautiful and its a shame that more concerts aren't held here.  Believe me, when you stand on the stage and look out over the plush empty seats, its easy to imagine the rush of a full and screaming crowd of fans staring back at you.  The Who, The Ramones and The Rolling Stones have all played on this stage!  Wow.

And yes, I absolutely DID imagine I was Mick Jagger in 1978 stalking about the stage in front of an absolute madhouse!

The intimate Cathedral stage is quite something as well.  When local RockStar/Musician/Hero Jack White paid $142,000 in back taxes, this theater was renamed in his honor.  We can only hope that it gets to be used to its fullest potential and some pride can be restored to this local gem.

The building is currently the home of the fabulous Detroit Derby Girls roller derby league.  Hopefully, they are never displaced because the third floor Ballroom is PERFECT for their brand of fun and excitement.

Only time will tell what will happen to this place.
A new neighbor is scheduled to move in across the street bringing activity with it, but the Red Wings arena and entertainment complex will bring more competition to Temple street as well.
Detroit must move forward and the Masonic Temple will hopefully survive and live to fight another day.

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