Bad News on the Horizon

WESTLAND -- The City Council is set to approve on Tuesday a one-year extension on the site plan for a proposed fitness center that would replace the old Quo Vadis Theater, a project opposed by some residents.

Last March, the council granted a site plan approval for the proposed $5 million, 45,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art L.A. Fitness Center. Demolition was to take place on the theater in August, but it was not done.

Council President Jim Godbout said he doesn't anticipate any issues in granting the extension. It will give the developer more time to find financing in this tough economic climate, he said.

"It's an important project. It will make some much-needed improvements to the site," Godbout said. "It should help with the overall look in the area. We just want to give him an opportunity to look for other avenues (of funding) to make it happen."

When the Quo Vadis Theater opened in 1966, it was one of the first movie houses that offered more than one film to choose from. It closed in 2002.

The theater, at 7420 N. Wayne Road, sits on a prime parcel, across the street from the Westland Shopping Center. While officials understand that it's difficult to get rid of a facility that has such nostalgia for people, they say they cannot afford to keep an abandoned structure on the site.

"It's in the heart of one of Westland's busiest districts," city spokeswoman Courtney Conover said. "We are not immune to the souring effects of the economy, but we feel confident that that area is on the turn. Every development is important moving forward. It speaks volumes for Westland."

Two area teenagers, Don Gurka of Livonia and Zachary Gizicki mounted an effort to protect the demolition of the old movie theater, but have been unsuccessful.

"The Quo Vadis was there a long time, and it was well-received," said Bruce Thompson, a city planner. "(But) the building sits there unused. ... We're happy to see redevelopments like this."

Tuesday's session is set for 7 p.m. at City Hall, 36601 Ford Road.


We ask that supporters come to Westland City Hall, 36601 Ford Road on Tuesday January 20th at 7 p.m. to support the foundation and its effort to protect the theater.

Comments (0) January 19 2009 21:25

The fight to save the theater is not yet over!

Recently, the group had received word from a reliable source that the sale of the theater and demolition had been called off due to circumstances surrounding the development.

The demolition that was scheduled to happen in August, never happened.

This leaves us with a great opportunity to regroup to save the theater. There is no better time than now to save the theater! The group will make more information will be made available as we receive it.

On a related note, last month, another Shafer family theater, the 1920's era Shafer Wayne met its untimely demise despite preservation efforts by it's dedicated organization. When the city made the decision to demolish it, they lost a what could have been a great treasure.  Don't let another great theater befall this fate! More information on the Wayne is available here and here.

2662290201_7922a12199_mFor those of you who haven't taken the time to check out our photos of the interior, I recommend checking out SNWEB.ORG's photo gallery from the April 8th photo shoot, located here.

Also, look here in the next few days for more information regarding Save the QV T-Shirts, buttons and baseball caps.

Additionally, during the next few weeks the website will be undergoing a major overhaul and MAY experience some minor downtime. Stay tuned.

Please feel free to contact us with any ideas or questions you might have.

October 20 2008 16:00

Update 4/29/2008

Hey, sorry for delays with the new photos + video. I've been really busy and I'll try to get them up this weekend.
- Don

April 29 2008 20:23

Photos posted...

Hey everybody, sorry for taking so long to post photos. Its been crazy, I've got so much media to sort through. About an hour of video + over 600 photos! I've put up a small gallery of photos. Its the very last gallery in the list. I must comment, that even in its state of neglect, the building, overall, was in very good shape. Minor vandalism and water damage upstairs, but nothing that could not be repaired.

For those of you emailing me asking (or in person) if I can take you into the building or tell you how to get in on your own: I can't and I won't. I'm sorry, but its not my place to do that, its not my building. I cannot condone breaking and entering, nor can I get you permission to enter. If you choose to disobey my directions not to enter, and you get caught, you will be prosecuted. I can't stress this enough.

Expect some more photos + a tour video soon.

April 10 2008 16:52

New Photos Soon...

Well, I promised you all a HUGE update today, and... well, as they say, a pictures worth a thousand words, so I'll let photos speak for its self.

Inside the QV More photos + video coming tomorrow.

April 08 2008 22:23

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