Poll: McDonald's Replacing Detroit Theatre?

Does the thought of a Mickey D's at the old theater make your mouth water, or your blood boil?

Over the past few months, we've received hundreds of comments and blog posts both supporting and criticizing the proposal to replace the marquee at the old Detroit Theatre with the Golden Arches of a .

Folks in support of the idea say the city needs to welcome any business that's willing to invest in Lakewood, and there's nothing the city can legally do to stop it.

Peter Grosetti wrote in response to another user:

This is a legal private real estate transaction between Mr. Barr (Detroit Theater owner) and McDonald's Corporation...That would be the same as if you wanted to sell your home, but some of your neighbors didn'l like who you were going to sell it to, and your neighbors complained to the Cty and the City stepped in and said, "lynn, we think you should sell it the Mr. and Mrs. White instead of Mr. and Mrs. Brown"

Folks against it argue a nother fast-food restaurant doesn't gel with the city's character, and shouldn't replace a theater that's been there for more than 80 years.

Christine Hofer commented:

I spent many wekends going to the movie and it was so enjoable. Someone should buy it and resore it, its part of history why put Mcdonalds there . there are so many fast food stores going down detroit.

Now it's time to tell us what you think! Take the poll below, and keep the dialogue rolling.

Mara Carney October 31, 2011 at 03:20 PM
I totally dislike fast food, and I feel sorry for the neighbors around there that will have late-night traffic, as well as fast food smells wafting through their neighborhood. Also, I heard they will be eliminating the the cross-walk at the Detroit-Hall intersection and I hope this isn't true... The kids walking to and from Harding use that light; the only other crosswalks nearby are at Summit or near the YMCA - I am guessing they won't be walking that far out of their respective ways to cross at the lights.
DAVE GIORGI October 31, 2011 at 04:21 PM
Tate Davidson October 31, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Um, NO. It wouldn't be the same as someone telling me I couldn't sell my house … unless the new house was going to add a double-drive through and was going to add hundreds of cars to a street already filled with speeding traffic. And the new house in question is also going to congest traffic unlike ever before in a residential area. Don't even need to mention that what they are selling is the same junk they sell everywhere else. --- QUOTE: "That would be the same as if you wanted to sell your home, but some of your neighbors didn'l like who you were going to sell it to, and your neighbors complained to the Cty and the City stepped in and said, "lynn, we think you should sell it the Mr. and Mrs. White instead of Mr. and Mrs. Brown" END QUOTE---
Peter Grossetti October 31, 2011 at 05:34 PM
Mr. Davidson - You missed the first part of my statement: "This is a legal private real estate transaction." LEGAL (within the law) PRIVATE (no government interference).
Peter Grossetti October 31, 2011 at 05:39 PM
Ms. Carney - Folks that live near Burger King aren't complaining about smells wafting through their neighborhood; or those near Taco Bell, or near Aladdins; or Angelo's, or El Tango Taqueria, etc. etc. Restaurant emit food odors. Perhaps we need to start banning restaurants?
Peter Grossetti October 31, 2011 at 05:42 PM
Mr. Giorgi - You say "lets" (let us ... "us" - a pronoun used to refer to both yourself and another person or other people). Are you part of a consortuium who is going to buy the theatre and do somethingn productive with it? The published selling price is only $695,000.
Tate Davidson October 31, 2011 at 06:19 PM
So what's the point, Mr. Grossetti? Did you miss the part about the crosswalk from Ms. Carney? Because you didn't mention that when ranting about the fact that you think no one complains about the smells. I'm curious how you know that no one complains about them. Also curious why there should be no government involvement when a business transaction affects the public safety. When I put an addition on my house, I needed a permit from the city. And that didn't affect traffic or pedestrians at ALL. The point is that 2 people agreeing to change ownership on a house is different than adding a drive through restaurant to a heavily-traveled residential street. The transaction itself is not in question, it is how it affects the residents that is the focus. I realize you might say that "big government" is "getting in the way", but it can be argued that individual rights to safety are also being ignored if the appropriate adjustments are made or precautions taken.
Peter Grossetti October 31, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Mr. Davidson - I don't comment on hearsay/rumors/conjecture (Ms. Carney said, "I heard they will be eliminating the the cross-walk") That's the oldest "spin" trick in the book ... put anything in print and it become trust/fact/gospel in order to help make a point. (If anyone IS complaining about food odors other than McD's, they certainly aren't doing it in a public forum such as Patch or Lakewood Observer's Obervation Post) Selling a former movie theatre to a restaurant chain has about as much to do with public safety as banning certain breeds of dog from our city has to do with public safety. Will we be safe ONLY when every corner/intersection has a crosswalk and/or a traffic signal? No, that would be overkill. At some point we have to trust the fact that we raised our kids right by teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street - and "at the green not in between"; telling them to not talk to strangers; explaining to them how to approach a dog the proper way; having them wear mouth guards and shin protectors on the playing fields; etc. btw ... I hardly think my comments are "rants" ... which Merriman-Webster defines as 1.) to talk in a noisy, excited, or declamatory manner; 2: to scold vehemently (sorry you perceive it that way)
Rev. Paula Maeder Connor October 31, 2011 at 08:49 PM
Personally, I am sad that I haven't heard of a cooperative/collaborative purchase of the Detroit Theater. We could have had some sort of consortium/shareholders, etc. Investors could have put money into the property, brought the theater up to standards that Lakewood people would choose to go to. It'd been neat to have a Lakewood "Theater District" (with the Beck) and potentially other small shows (from a once mentioned "Back Door Theater" in the basement of Trinity Lutheran Church). But the economy went away. Comments? Paula Maeder Connor
kris October 31, 2011 at 08:55 PM
Mr. Grossetti, with all due respect, we DO live right down the street from the Burger King and the Taco Bell and HATE it. We fish trash from their establishments out of our landscaping every other day. These types of restaurants sell cheep, unhealthy food to be eaten on the go. They add no character and in some people's opinion, degrade the green, healthy, and support-local-business character that Lakewood is starting to embrace/promote. That's different than say Aladdins or El Tango. Very.
Kimberly November 01, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Lakewood already has a McDonald's, so the argument about welcoming new businesses is a mute point.
Colin McEwen November 01, 2011 at 05:25 AM
The McDonald's-funded study does recommend eliminating the crosswalk (http://lakewood-oh.patch.com/articles/traffic-study-new-mcdonald-s-will-not-have-adverse-affect) But nothing is settled yet.
Peter Grossetti November 02, 2011 at 03:31 AM
Kimberly - FYI ... the Sloane Avenue store will close when this one opens. Welcome to the party.
Peter Grossetti November 02, 2011 at 03:50 AM
Rev. Connor - I think it would be GREAT to have a "theatre/arts district" in Lakewood, but even Beck Center cries poor every other year and threatens to close its doors. Lakewood can barely support one arts institution! And the thought of raising $695,000 just to purchase the former Detroit Theatre is a daunting task -- let alone rounding up $$$$ to refurbish it and bring it up to code. And that's all before trying to figure out how to secure the resources (time/people/money) for the day-to-day operations of another theatre in Lakewood. Having worked in the not-for-profit arts and culture sector for the past 20 years, I can tell tell you story after story after story of arts organizations ranging from small theatre companies to large profesional ballet companies who have closed due to lack of funding and audience. It truely is a sad state of affairs. "The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance." ~Aristotle
Peter Grossetti November 02, 2011 at 05:00 AM
@Kris (no last name) - And I live near a family with a swimming pool in their yard with kids screaming at the top of their lungs all summer long ... and I HATE it! You see, there are 56,000 of us crammed into 5.5 sq miles here in Lakewood and we all put up with "stuff;" like picking trash off of our front yard (or in my case, dog crap from irresponsible owners). I've always said, "you just can't legislate common decency!" With regards to crosswalks ... the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study I could find (*Source: NHTSA- 2007 Traffic Safety Facts Report: Pedestrians) indicated that 80% of all traffic accidents involving pedestrians who were injured/killed occurred when the person was within the seemingly safe confines of the crosswalk .. and NHTSA says about one-third of pedestrian deaths result from their disobeying traffic signals or using poor judgment. Maybe the Detroit-Hall intersection is better off WITHOUT a crosswalk! I understand how bad McD's food is, but it's NOT a municipality's role to dictate which restaurants you can/can't eat at! Believe me, there are a gazillion things I'd rather see on the site of the former Detroit Theatre than a McDonald's restaurant ... but until the sale/purchase of private property is banned in Lakewood, McD's has EVERY right to purchase the land and conduct business here (and our fellow Lakewoodites have the right to dine or not dine there).
John Erdovegi November 03, 2011 at 02:17 AM
Mr Davidson, I think it is totally foolish to think that safety is going to change. Did you take a survey of the safety of all streets with a restaurant on Detroit. Yes there exists many restaurants and cars near residents, all over the USA. Take "Cozumel" (Formerly iHop) right across the street, it is quite a distance from homes and has a large fence. That should prevent food odors. I drive down that street twice on many days. I haven't seen any huge traffic jams or accidents. People get food odors from neighbors' Barbeques, or even cooking. Are people complaining about all that theatre "Popcorn" odors?
Tate Davidson November 03, 2011 at 11:54 AM
OK, Mr. E … not sure why people always feel the need to post comments that can so easily by destroyed with things like "facts". From what I've seen, Cozumel doesn't have a double drive through. And I never said anything about odors.


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