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Requiem for the Main Art: Goodbye to Metro Detroit’s ‘cool’ movie house

It’s a wrap for the Main Art Theatre in Royal Oak, and gone with it is a vibrant era of Metro Detroit moviegoing, a constant in the community that is suddenly no longer constant. 

The three-screen movie house, with its iconic marquee topped by big block letters that spell out M-A-I-N, specialized in independent and arthouse fare. You can catch a blockbuster anywhere. But the Main Art — which is now permanently closed after temporarily shutting its doors earlier this spring, a farewell message posted on its marquee — was home to titles outside the mainstream, smaller films that weren’t reliant on explosions or talking animals or cars equally fast and furious to get their point across. 

Royal Oak's Main Art Theatre

The Main Art was not alone in the area in programming specialty films.

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