Opera in Dearborn

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A 1,201-seat auditorium that values acoustic excellence as much as visual grandeur, the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center houses ornate wooden accents and intricate wall panels that soar over a sweeping balcony peppered with plush red seats. Ample wheelchair seating and elevators to all levels abound, ensuring audience members seated in the balcony won’t need to rely on the creaky wooden catapults still in use at many theaters.

15801 Michigan Ave
Dearborn,
MI
US

Hershey Theatre

The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.

2211 Woodward Ave.
Detroit,
MI
US

The nation's fourth-oldest orchestra, the DSO has been filling Detroit's music halls with top-notch euphony since 1887. By the 1920s, the orchestra came into its own, entering a golden age that saw them hosting such legends as Igor Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. After financial difficulties put the outfit's hall in jeopardy, a multi-decade fund-raising effort led to their triumphant return home in 1989. Today, the orchestra remains one of the most recorded symphonies in the country, bringing the classical canon to millions of listeners and giving orchestra members something to blast at family gatherings when their siblings start talking about their jobs.

3711 Woodward Ave.
Detroit,
MI
US

The Detroit Institute of Arts takes the “s” at the end of its name seriously. The immense Beaux Arts building on Woodward Avenue isn’t only a setting for a top-tier collection of visual works that include Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry frescoes, a van Gogh self-portrait, and ancient sculptures from Africa and Asia. It also opens the doors of its lecture halls, event spaces, and auditoriums for craft workshops, wide-ranging talks from historians and people who know how to draw really good cubes, film, and music. The latter two art forms find a home in the Detroit Film Theatre, a gilded, neoclassical auditorium that preserves a sense of coziness amid the grandeur.

3011 W Grand Blvd
Detroit,
MI
US

Since 1936, the historic Gem Theatre has moved movie lovers to laughter and tears with films in an elegant, comfortable single-screen vintage theater. Peruse current showtimes and choose a first-run film, which may include a romantic romp, a superhero adventure, an independent feature, or Casablanca II: Electric Boogaloo. Guests pick up their sodas and popcorn at the concessions stand in the carpeted lobby, whose ornate table lamps cast soft light on potted plants and flowers. In the red and gold 916-seat amphitheater, upholstered floor seats beckon audience members and balcony perches provide a sky-high view behind marbled wood rails. Before the film, guests watch wrought-iron vines curl around colorful birds in sculptures flanking the screen. Sumptuous gold curtains hide the big screen until showtime, allowing staff members to finish reenacting each film’s climactic scene in private.

333 Madison St
Detroit,
MI
US

What was once the meeting spot for the Saint Andrew's Society of Detroit now hosts the hottest live acts and dance parties, including performances by Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Iggy Pop. The Main Ballroom sports a tricked-out sound-and-lighting system, a VIP balcony, a hardwood dance floor, and a bar more than 35 feet long. The lower level of The Shelter lives up to its name, as red curtains and a cabaret offer an escape to mellower pastures. Upstairs at The Burns Room, patrons chill out on lounge furniture under chandeliers while savoring views of Congress and the RenCen.

431 E Congress St.
Detroit,
MI
US