The Fox Theatre Detroit is the premiere venue to see live entertainment in the city. With a rich and star-studded history reaching back almost 100 years, The Fox Theater is truly a Detroit gem.
There’s nothing quite like taking in a show at this legendary performing arts theater, whether you’re seeing an exciting Broadway musical or a favorite comedian. The grandeur of the elegant lobby and the majestic auditorium, complete with gilt-studded, hand-painted murals are stunning, and make for an unforgettable experience in downtown Detroit, no matter the performance.
As a lifelong Detroiter, I’ve seen many shows at the Fox, from the fabulous New York City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular to the Nutcracker Ballet; from Bob Dylan to Ringo Starr. All incredible performances, they were made even better by their sumptuous surroundings.
I hope that this guide will make it easy for anyone planning a trip down to the Fox Theater to take in a show. This guide will have parking help, places to stay, places to dine and give a brief history of the theater. Now let’s put your mind at ease and help you plan a great night at the Fox Theater, a true Detroit Gem.
History of the Fox Theatre Detroit
Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, the Fox Theatre Detroit was officially designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989.
Originally built as one of the many theaters built by American film mogul William Fox (yes, he of 20th Century Fox- fame), the Fox Theater originally opened in 1928. Designed by renowned theater architect C. Howard Crane, the Fox Theater is an architectural marvel.
Standing 10 stories tall, the exterior features the impressive Fox Marquee. Inside are breathtaking designs inspired by Burmese, Chinese, Indian and Persian motifs. At the time, it was the largest of the Fox Theaters. When it opened, it instantly became Detroit’s premier movie destination, and stayed that way for decades.
Throughout its almost-100-year history, the Fox Theatre Detroit has undergone restorations, but the heart of the gorgeous theater has remained the same.
The Theater underwent a 12 million dollar restoration in 1988. The Theater holds just over 5,000 guests. The Theater has hosted performances from some of the biggest stars in entertainment history including Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr and many many more.
Why I Think You Should See A Show at the Fox Theatre Detroit
The auditorium is beautiful and quite breathtaking. There aren’t many of the old school theaters around, and they are so rich with history.
So if you get a chance to go to the Fox Theater in Detroit you should jump at the opportunity to experience history. This is an amazing venue to take in a show.
Parking for the Fox Theatre Detroit
Whether you’re coming in from another part of Michigan or from out of town to see a show at the Fox Theater, don’t sweat about parking. Parking can often be a major concern when trying to attend an event in a major city.
50 W Montcalm St, Detroit, MI 48201
In Detroit, that’s a little different. Since we are in the Motor City there isn’t much public transportation, so most people drive everywhere so there is ample parking. The most convenient for a night at the Fox Theater is going to be its parking garage just to the north side of the venue.
City Lots 1 and 2
If Comerica is full, try the City lots located right across the street.
McLaren Parking Garage
90 E Fisher Service Dr, Detroit, MI 48201
When I go to The Fox, I usually park at the Mclaren or Tiger/Lions parking garages on Fisher Drive. It is probably a quarter mile walk to the venue, but this garage provides easy access from the freeway.
District Detroit Parking App
If you don’t get a spot in one of these garages, don’t worry. There are plenty of other garages close and surface lots as well. Download The District Detroit app from the Google Play Store for more parking.
Where to Stay in Detroit
Planning on seeing a show and making a weekend out of it? I have you covered with some great places to stay to make that weekend feel like a true getaway. While there aren’t a ton of hotel options right by the Fox Theater there are plenty in downtown Detroit that would be a short walk or Uber ride to the Fox.
The Siren Hotel
1509 Broadway St, Detroit, MI 48226
Offering a variety of different rooms that could meet anyone’s needs, the Siren Hotel is a great place to stay if you’re spending the night after a show or are getting into town a day early to explore. This is a nice place to stay with beautiful and clean rooms.
Located less than half a mile from the Fox Theater this is a great place to rest and recharge when attending an event at the Fox. This hotel is also right in the heart of the city and within walking distance of most things in the heart of downtown.
1400 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48336
The Shinola Hotel is a lovely place to stay in the Heart of downtown Detroit. Also within a half mile of the Fox Theater, this is one of the premiere places to stay in the city. The hotel offers tons of great rooms, some with cool unique designs. This is one of the nicest and best places you can stay when going to an event at the Fox Theater.
Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Detroit
351 Gratiot Ave, Detroit, MI 48226
In the Hilton family of Hotels, a stay at the Hilton Garden Inn is a standard, dependable hotel experience. It is located about half of a mile from the Fox Theater. It is consistent, safe and clean so there really isn’t much else you can ask for in a hotel.
Dining in Detroit
You’ll definitely want to grab a bite to eat in downtown Detroit. I’m focusing on restaurants in close proximity to the Fox Theater, so you can get there and park for the night, and not have to worry about moving your car or driving closer to the venue after your meal.
There isn’t much food inside of the venue, so eating before you go in is a key. While there are options, it is mainly stadium foods like hot dogs, Little Caesars pizza, and candy. Sure, you won’t starve if you don’t get a meal before going into your show, but I’d recommend trying one of the great restaurants in the area. Here are a few of my favorites:
Hockeytown Cafe, 2301 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Located right next to the Fox Theater this is a Detroit favorite. Serving pizza, burger,hot dogs and more this is a great place to grab a bite and take in some Detroit Red Wings history. They also have a full bar. This is one of the best sports bars in the State and beloved by locals.
Frita Batidos Detroit, 66 W Columbia St, Detroit, MI 48201
Located right around the corner from The Fox Theater is this great Cuban inspired street food spot. Looking for something new to try this place is great. All of the food is inspired by traditional Cuban dishes but with a modern and American twist. This is a great spot for a quick bite before a show. They also have a full bar menu with plenty of fun cocktails and adult milkshakes. Just look at the menu. You’ll have a hard time not stopping if you’re planning a trip.
Union Assembly, 2131 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Located on the other side of the Fox Theater the Union Assembly is a more upscale dining experience. With an awesome menu with something for everyone, Union assembly is a great place to sit down, have a few drinks and a nice meal to kill some time before going into the Fox Theater. Serving things like burgers, steaks, pizza and much more.
Jo Jo’s Shake Bar, 88 W Columbia St, Detroit, MI 48201
A restaurant known more for its elaborate and epic milkshakes, JoJo’s Shake bar offers a fun option before a show or as a great place to grab a sweet treat after. With a large menu that has everything from lasagna to sandwiches this is a cool place to go with the whole family. Their milkshakes are the main attraction with classic options and elaborate milkshakes that words can’t even really describe. If you have a sweet tooth like me this is an ideal place to go before or after the Fox Theater and treat yourself.
See A Show at the Fox Theatre Detroit
I hope that this guide has helped you learn more about the Fox Theater Detroit. I also hope that you feel even more ready for your trip to the Fox Theater, It’s truly a beautiful venue with so much history. There aren’t many Places like the Fox Theater left. If you’re looking for even more fun things to do when you’re visiting the Fox Theater, check out my post on the 15 Coolest Things to do in Detroit.
More to See and Do in Detroit
About the Author-
Cy Nardone is a Content Creator at mymichiganbeach. He grew up in Grosse Pointe and attended Grosse Pointe South High School. He went on to attend Wayne State then Michigan State University where he majored in Sports Journalism. Cy is a lifelong Detroit sports fan who loves food. Cy looks forward to expanding our Metro Detroit content and hopes to turn you on to a new spot to adventure or eat.