We've been a fixture in the Detroit area since 1940. The theater was designed in an Art Moderne style by C. Howard Crane, the same man who designed the Fox Theatre in Detroit. With a tall blade sign featuring neon letters and a canopy over the entrance, the Farmington Civic Theater is an icon in Downtown Farmington, Michigan.
Back in 1989, the balcony was converted into a second theater by architect Louis Wiltse. Nine years later, the City of Farmington purchased the theater from owner Greg Hohler whose father, Ed, owned it before him. The City refurbished and enhanced the FCT with an updated sound system along with cushioned seats with arm rests and drink holders.
The film projectors were removed, replaced with digital projectors and supporting technology.
The City's involvement was designed to retain the theater in Farmington's downtown, acknowledging its importance to the community as a landmark and draw.
We continue to hear memories from days gone by and enjoy the stories.
QUICK LOOK BACK
1939 Construction began under the direction of architect C. Howard Crane, in Art Moderne style.
1940 Opening-night movie, "Hired Wife"was shown at the new downtown venue which included balcony seating. Edward Hohler, manager.
1951 Edward Hohler purchased the Farmington Civic Theater business.
1973 Ed's son, Gregory, began managing the theater.
1989 Greg Hohler purchased the theater building. Theater closed for the first time in its history for a five-week remodeling.
The balcony became the upstairs theater.
1999 The City of Farmington purchased the theater building and business from Greg Hohler.
2000 The Farmington Civic Theater re-opened with a gala after being closed for renovations.
2013 35mm projectors removed. Digital projection, Dolby Surround 7.1, new upstairs screen and new speakers installed.
2020 After over seventy-nine years as a cash-only venue, the theater began accepting credit cards.