Downtown Mount Clemens theater built in 1921 for sale

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Mount Clemens — A renovated entertainment venue with an impressive architectural pedigree is on the market.

The Macomb Music Theatre at 31 N. Walnut Street in Mount Clemens is selling for $2.9 million. In addition to the 1,500-seat theater, the property also includes two liquor licenses with a bar and restaurant nearly renovated, said real estate broker Joe Sowerby of Anton, Sowerby & Associates.

Owners Waleed “Wally” Mona and Marc Beginin purchased the property in 2012 for $1 million, said Sowerby. Mona and Beginin made $2 million in renovations.

“This theater is part of the fabric of Mount Clemens,” said Sowerby. “It is an important cog in Macomb County and particularly in this town.”

Sowerby said the multipurpose facility, listed more than 50 days ago, can be used for weddings and corporate gatherings.

Michelle Weiss of the Mount Clemens Downtown Development Authority said the Macomb Music Theatre is an important economic resource in the city’s downtown.

“When the theater is up and running, people will come downtown and frequent businesses,” said Weiss. “We need the right people in there running it.”

Once known as the Emerald Theatre, it closed its doors in a foreclosure in July 2012. The Emerald was owned by Mike Mitchell and Ronald Masters, who owed two loans totaling $1.08 million on the building. Talmer Bank and Trust purchased the building for $607,000 and sued the owners for $530,000.

Opened in 1921, the building has an impressive history.

Architect C. Howard Crane designed the Beaux Arts-styled building along with Detroit’s Orchestra Hall, Fox and and Majestic theaters, as well as New York’s Radio City Music Hall.

“A very particular type of buyer will purchase it,” said Sowerby. “But I can’t imagine anybody doing anything much different. The value is in the building and not in the dirt it sits on.”

Weiss said if it were to go back to the bank, the authority has ideas such as renting it out to other cultural entities or showing classic movies like the historic Redford Theatre offers in Redford Township.

“These are ways to keep it alive until someone else comes along,” she said.

The Emerald hosted several notable Kid Rock concerts, including a 2003 show that was taped for a VH1 Christmas special, and one in 2007 to toast the release of his “Rock N Roll Jesus” album.

In addition to the Macomb Theatre, Mona also purchased the iconic Bank building on South Main Street and reopened it as a nightclub called the Vault in April 2013. The property is now up for sale for $499,000 according to Sowerby’s website.

Built in 1961, the Bank building was once home to Mount Clemens Federal Savings and Loan. The 8,000-square-foot building was designed by famed architect William Kessler. Its flowing concrete roof won the building the name “The Flying Nun” after the television series from the 1960s.

Prior to 2013, the Bank building had been owned by Macomb County since 2004.

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