Welcome to the Tiki Central 2.0 Beta. Read the announcement
Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

Tiki Central / Locating Tiki

Mai Kai Theater, Livonia, MI (other)

Pages: 1 5 replies

Name:Mai Kai Theater
Street:33330 Pymouth Rd.

The long gone Mai Kai Theater built by Nicholas George opened on April 10th 1963. Polynesian themed sign and interior. I have read that there was even a volcano behind the concession stand. The theater lasted as the Mai Kai until a change of ownership in 1987. With came (you guessed it) a new look. Bland. The theater changed hands once again and closed for good in 1993 I believe and was demolished in 2003 for some swell condos. Give me a few minutes and I'll have the pics up.

Opening day 1963.

A night shot.

Not sure but that looks to be a large Tiki in the lobby.

A later shot of the sign.

The building remodeled as the Omni Theater.

The final curtain call 2003. Photo from Waterwinterwonderland.org

[ Edited by: uncle trav 2009-11-27 10:48 ]

awesome..i know just where this is (was).....nancy from cat's meow might have more info on this...she's lived in livonia for awhile. I'll ask her if she has any stories or pics....

Thanks for posting this uncle trav. I lived in Livonia back in the early to mid 70's and remember seeing Jaws and The Sting at the Mai Kai. It was definitely a fun theatre to go to. I remember the exterior wall directly under the giant letters was nicely illuminted with alternating purple and blue lights (or maybe it was blue and green). Unfortunately, the only other memory I have was that there was some gum or spit wads stuck on the screen. I'd love to see some interior shots.

Here is part of a 1961 article from Boxoffice magazine about the concept for the Mai Kai Theater. There is a mention later in the article of a possible Polynesian themed restaurant at the site.

Great finds, Trav. I've seen interior shots of that place, it was very modern and sparsly Tiki-fied, with large wall hangings from the house of Witco.

I saw a few 70mm big screen movies there. Sound and picture were very impressive. There was a small wall or two of Tiki decor and colored lighting by the doors into the auditorium. Modest amount of furniture and decor in the lobby. The signage was good too. The full stage was used occasionally by the auto companies for dealer meetings and roll outs of new car models for them. It was a far more elaborate building than most suuburban theatres of 1960's. There are a few photos of interior and other details under the later name of George Burns Theatre at Cinema Treasures. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/3319

Pages: 1 5 replies