Mai Kai Theater

Livonia, MI
Movie Theater
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33330 Plymouth Rd.
Livonia, MI
Opened in 1963
Closed in 1987
No longer in operation.

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Humuhumu’s description

When the Mai Kai Theater opened in 1963, it was a grand place -- it cost the Nicolas George Theaters chain $1.5 million to build, with seating for nearly 1,400 people to watch on one great, big screen. The theater was decorated in a Polynesian style, with an animated "erupting" volcano sign out front, and another volcano behind the concession stand. It had an orchestra pit, though the Mai Kai Orchestra only played there on opening night -- "Son of Flubber" was the first movie, and stars Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were there.
AMC Theatres bought out Nicolas George Theaters in 1986, and the Mai Kai was closed a year later, in May 1987. In 1988, after half a million dollars was spent remodeling the Mai Kai into a live performance venue, it reopened as the Omni Star. It only lasted a couple of months, before it was shut down thanks to the "illegal activities" of the new owner. Again the building sputtered to life briefly as the "George Burns Theater" (the namesake George Burns himself was there at the opening) in 1992, but it only lasted a couple of years. The theater stood for another ten years, being used as overflow by the neighboring Ford dealership, before being demolished in 2003. The site is now home to a Walgreens.