Grande Ballroom History

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Little do many people know, The Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan is one of the most pivotal places in relation to the history of rock and roll. Back during the middle of the rock and roll era in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, internationally renowned bands and artists performed at the Grande, making it famous all around the world. Today, the Grande is no longer in use and many people don’t understand the importance or relevance of it - but the real question is why people don’t recognize it as a piece of history and what it did for the music industry in its day. The Grande Ballroom is located in Detroit, Michigan. Its address is 8952 Grand River Avenue, and it is the heart of the Petoskey-Otsego neighborhood. It was designed in 1928…show more content…
It was first owned by Harry Weitzman, but was sold to businessmen Edward J. Strata and Edward J. Davis soon after the opening. Strata and Davis owned two ballrooms in the Detroit area, The Vanity and Grande ballrooms. The pair of ballrooms cost about $500,000 to build and maintain, which is equivalent to about 6.2 million dollars today. The Grande originally served as a multipurpose building, with shops and a dancefloor. The ballroom was renowned for its outstanding wooden dancefloor, which was one of the best in the Detroit area. In the years after it’s opening, the Grande often hosted jazz bands, which were popular at the time. The Grande became more widely known in in the 1930’s. The neighborhood was predominantly Jewish at the time, and The Grande became a popular hangout for The Purple Gang. They were a group of hijackers and bootleggers; some of the most feared in Detroit at the time. They were active 1910-1932, and were also known as The Sugarhill…show more content…
Gibb, now an eminent club owner in America, began to book bigger venues for a smaller cost and with less hassle. The bands that wanted to play at The Grande wanted their opening bands to be able to play with them as well, and with the comparably small venue, it was difficult to get everyone to play and to have enough space and time to do so. With show lineups becoming longer and longer, there was much hassle with arranging sets and everyone performing on time. Gibb also began to be bothered by the police, who thought that The Grande was a major acid distribution center. By 1972, acid was vended nightly and was becoming an increasingly bigger problem for Gibb. Unfortunately, after the building was closed, it was seldom used. The Grande was last used as a secondhand

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