In another sign of the times, Midtown’s Majestic Theatre entertainment complex has listed for sale for an unspecified price. Dave Zainea, an owner of the venue that stretches a block of Woodward Avenue, tells Crain’s the sale was something that his family had been considering for a while but COVID-19 losses pushed them over the edge.
The listing includes the Majestic Theatre and Magic Stick music venues along with the Garden Bowl bowling alley, the Alley Deck rooftop bar, and Sgt. Pepperoni’s Pizzeria and Deli. Currently, Zainea says the family hopes that they will find a buyer that values the history and spirit of the property. The venue started out as just a bowling alley in 1946 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Garden Bowl is one of the oldest bowling alleys in the country. Two years ago, the buildings were renovated at a cost of $1.2 million.
While restaurants were able open at limited capacity in June, music venues and bowling alleys have been frozen in stasis since early in the pandemic due to the risks of large indoor social gatherings. On Friday, September 25, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer moved to ease some of that stress on entertainment venues like the Majestic Theatre and Garden Bowl with a revised executive order.
Beginning Friday, October 9, indoor theaters, cinemas, performance venues, arcades, bingo halls, bowling centers, indoor climbing facilities, trampoline parks, and other similar facilities will be permitted to reopen with 20 people per 1,000 square feet (25 people in regions 6 and 8) or 20 percent of fixed seating capacity (25 percent in regions 6 and 8). The maximum number of people allowed in the largest venues will be 500 people. People must wear face coverings while at indoor events. Non-residential, outdoor gatherings will also be permitted to expand from a limit of 100 people to 30 people per 1,000 square feet of 30 percent of fixed seating capacity with a maximum of 1,000 people in attendance.
Nevertheless, most arts and entertainment venues will still struggle to reopen under the new limits due to challenges with booking talent during the pandemic and the high costs of operations for live concerts.
• Majestic Complex [Loopnet]
• Majestic Theatre Complex Goes Up for Sale, Prompted by the ‘Grind,’ Pandemic [Crain’s]
• Detroit Music Venues Can Reopen at Limited Capacity, but Owners Say It’s Still a Tough Go [Freep]