Historic Detroit

Every building in Detroit has a story — we're here to share it

Film Exchange Building

This seven-story building was built at the corner of Cass and Montcalm in 1926 for the distribution and booking of movies for the Detroit area. It was erected near Grand Circus Park, then the city's theater district, having been home to the Fox, State, Capitol, Adams and Madison theaters, among others.

The building featured fireproof vaults for the nitrate films for all its tenants, and detailing such as a sculpture above the main Cass Avenue entrance, a lobby in Travertine marble and brass elevator doors.

The building was mainly occupied by unions by 1964, around the time the occupancy rates began to fall. The building closed in the mid-1970s.

Around 2000, the roof was replaced, and the building received new windows. During March and April 2005, the facade of the building was painted, and broken windows boarded up with black plywood.

Currently the owner has no plans for the building, but has done an adequate job keeping the building sealed from the elements and vandals.

In late summer 2009, the building was unfortunately painted a bright white.