New McDonald's in Lakewood: A Timeline

It’s been nearly two years since the Detroit Theatre closed its doors after nearly 90 years in business. The new fast-food restaurant that replaced the theater is now open.

It’s been almost two years since the Detroit Theatre closed its doors after nearly 90 years in business.

Just months after that, McDonald’s announced plans to plant the Golden Arches in its place. 

Here’s the timeline since for the last time.

Jan. 30, 2011: The at the Detroit Theatre.

April: McDonald’s begins discussions with the city about closing the Sloane Avenue location, and re-opening somewhere else in the city.

June 15: More than 150 residents attend a community meeting to discuss the proposal.

July 14: McDonald's representatives present initial plans to city officials.

July 29: Inspired by the McDonald’s proposal, city begins plans to review all businesses with drive-thrus in the city.

Aug. 17: City hosts workshop to discuss historic preservation.

Sept. 8: City’s Architectural Board of Review OK’s the architectural plans.

October: A traffic study conducted by McDonald’s shows that there would be “no adverse effect” on traffic on Detroit and Woodward avenues as a result of the McDonald’s. Residents disagree.

Nov. 2: Residents who are “not lovin’ it” hold a rally to protest the fast-food restaurant’s plans.

Nov. 3: Lakewood Planning Commission allows McDonald’s to combine two parcels of land at the site. The commission also granted McDonald’s a conditional use permit to allow an accessory parking lot in a residential district — at the rear of the property.

January 2012: Lakewood City Council passes changes to the zoning code that make the rules for drive-thrus in Lakewood more strict.

February 2012: McDonald’s announces the timeline for the demolition of the Detroit Theatre and the construction of the fast-food restaurant.  McDonald’s to lease the building from Lakewood-based property owner Zaremba Group. 

May 2012: The Lakewood Fire Department practices much-needed drills in the vacated structure. 

  • Nature’s Bin announces plans to buy the McDonald’s on Sloane Avenue, with plans to expand into the space.  
  • The Detroit Theatre is demolished. During the week it took to demolish the structure. Hundreds stopped by to bid it farewell. Some took bricks as mementos.  

July 2012: Construction on the new McDonald’s begins. 

Sept. 15: McDonald’s on Sloane Avenue closes after more than 50 years at that location. 

Oct. 10: The new McDonald’s opens. 


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