Fox Theatre, Detroit

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The preservation of this theater is one of Detroit's proudest achievements. The 5048-seat palace of the arts, arguably the most opulent in the nation when it opened in 1928, was designated a national landmark in 1989 after a USD11 million refurbishment by new owner Mike Ilitch. The oldest, continually operating theater in the United States features a 10-story marquee, a six-story lobby with a two-ton chandelier and 300,000 glass jewels in its interior. The exotic presentation of lions, gold fixtures and jaw-dropping grandeur harkens back to the flamboyant era of movie houses. The Fox is now busy with concerts, family-oriented shows and a wide variety of other offerings. It's the anchor of the Theatre District and perhaps Detroit's greatest civic treasure.