The Maple Auditorium. Photos by Marty Abrin.
The Maple Auditorium. Photo by Marty Abrin.

Find entertainment 365 days a year in this newly remodeled neighborhood gem.

When the Main Art Theatre was torn down on July 25, 2022, movie lovers were outraged.

Julie Smith Yolles Contributing Writer
Julie Smith Yolles
Contributing Writer

“Such a shanda (shame),” people lamented about the theater that had been at the corner of Main Street and 11 Mile Road in Royal Oak for 81 years. The iconic marquis had been taken down to make way for a five-story, mixed-use space.

“Don’t wait until it’s gone to miss it,” advises Jon Goldstein, managing partner of The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Hills. “The Maple is a neighborhood treasure and  staple of the Jewish community. People shouldn’t assume that we will be here forever. It’s time to come back to the movies. People need to support our local mom-and-pop Jewish-owned business.”

The Maple Theater was built 45 years ago by Richard and Eugene Sloan. Over the years, the theater has changed ownership from the Sloans to AMC to Landmark. Ten years ago, Cloud Nine Theater Partners, headed by Jon and Lauren Goldstein of Bloomfield Hills, purchased The Maple. Since then, Cloud Nine Theater Partners took the old, run-down theater and renovated it, making first-class upgrades to the three-theater and event space. The Maple’s Sony Digital 4K with Dolby Surround sound technology is unsurpassed.

Then COVID Hit

“From 2012 to 2019, we made the theater nice and got people to come back. We sold 150,000 tickets a year. This year, we might sell 45,000. That’s a huge drop in attendance,” says Goldstein, who also locally owns the Riviera in Farmington Hills and the Emagine Woodhaven as well as theaters in five other states.

Lauren and Jon Goldstein
Lauren and Jon Goldstein. Photo by Marty Abrin.

“The rest of our movie theaters are fine — the younger people have come back. It’s the older Jewish audience that has gotten out of the habit. And it’s not just the movie theater; it’s the temple, too. The rabbis have the same problem that I have. ‘How do you get people to come back?’” asks Goldstein, a member of Temple Israel.

“Rabbi Yedwab talked about getting people to come back to Temple during his High Holiday sermon. I enjoyed spending the weekend in-person at Temple. I’m doing what the rabbi said. You were required to stay home during COVID, but now it’s time to come back and be with people. Going to the movies is my religion,” Goldstein laughs.

Growing up in Potomac, Maryland, Goldstein says that he was always fascinated by the movies, and he thanks his Jewish mother for that.

“She would drop me off at a movie theater, knowing that I would be safe, and she’d go shopping,” Goldstein laughs. “I loved it — I still love it.

“Movie theaters have survived everything that has threatened to destroy them. First it was television. Then it was Betamax, cable TV, VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and now streaming,” says EVP Programming, Marketing, and Special Events Ruth Daniels. “The Maple is a gem. People like our unique programming. We take great care when booking this theater.

Ticket to Paradise with Julia Roberts and George Clooney was the most fun that I’ve had at the movies since Top Gun. Why would you want to spend $20 on a streaming service to watch it at home, when you could see Clooney and Roberts in all their glory on the big movie screen in Sony Digital 4K with Dolby Surround sound?”

Goldstein couldn’t agree more.

“COVID and tech companies have changed people’s habits — to stay at home on the couch with the remote in isolation. Going to the movies and sharing an experience with people is a wonderful thing. Escaping to the movies is good for your mental health. If I’m watching a comedy, I don’t want to watch it by myself. I want to be in a room with people where it’s more emotional,” Goldstein says.

A Refreshed Venue

Post-COVID, Goldstein, Daniels and their partners have been working tirelessly to bring audiences back to The Maple. Just two weeks ago, The Maple completed its most recent remodel. The restaurant that had been operated by Como’s Pizzeria is gone and replaced by a fresh, inviting space called The Lounge.

Enjoy live music in The Lounge on most weekends.
Enjoy live music in The Lounge on most weekends. Photo by Marty Abrin.

The Lounge offers a full-service bar, Great Lakes coffee and tea, and appetizers that are freshly prepared in The Maple kitchen and cooked to order. Menu items, including flatbreads, chicken tenders, fried pickles, edamame, veggie egg rolls and The Maple’s award-winning popcorn, can all be enjoyed in The Lounge or at your seats.

Live music will be featured in The Lounge on most Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30-8:30 p.m. with a variety of jazz duos and trios. The Lounge hours will parallel the theater’s, opening around 11 a.m. daily and closing about 9 p.m. And, The Maple is introducing a new app to make ticket ordering seamless.

: Enjoy live music in The Lounge on most weekends.
The Maple offers full-bar service, appetizers and concessions. Photo by Marty Abrin

“Before COVID, we made it worse. We took away what made The Maple so special — that community feel. We made financial decisions that, when you strictly do that, you make mistakes, and I will take the blame. Now, people don’t think to go there,” Goldstein said.

“So we’ve taken a leap of faith by fixing it and putting it back to what our audiences enjoyed. We want you to come back to our neighborhood hangout — have drinks, listen to music, do work and, of course, buy a ticket and come to the movies.”

Freshly prepared appetizers in the newly remodeled Lounge. Photo by Marty Abrin.
Freshly prepared appetizers in the newly remodeled Lounge. Photo by Marty Abrin.

The Maple will continue its popular Thursday night Secret Cinema classic film series where tickets are just $6. Comedy and trivia nights are coming back, starting with a special free Holiday Movie Trivia night at 7 p.m. on Wed. Dec. 21. On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, plan to hang out at The Maple for a Chanukah/Christmas party featuring Chinese food, potato latkes, movies and more. Call (248) 855-9091 to make reservations.

For the upcoming big movie-going holiday weekend, The Maple will feature a combination of blockbusters including sci-fi fantasy adventure Avatar, Babylon with Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, the Whitney Houston bio pic I Wanna Dance with Somebody and Spielberg’s The Fabelmans.

The Fabelmans is a wonderful film about one of the greatest filmmakers of our time. Steven Spielberg grew up in a Jewish home and his heritage was so important to him that he made Schindler’s List,” Daniels says. “Being a huge Spielberg fan and also the Jewish mother of two talented young men, I loved this story that prominently featured the influence by his parents and family.

“We’re here to entertain you — 365 days a year — especially when everyone’s off.”

All About The Maple

Sat. Dec. 24: The Maple’s Chanukah and Christmas Eve Party
Chinese Food, potato latkes, movies and more. Call the theater manager to purchase tickets in advance at (248) 855-9091 or email ruth@themapletheater.com for additional information.

Special Events

Go online to www.themapletheater.com for a complete list of movies, live music, Secret Cinema, special events, The Maple Elite Loyalty Program and The Maple VIP Club membership.

The Maple Theater is proud to announce that ticket prices have not increased post-COVID.
Weekends: Matinee: $8 for everyone, Evening: adult $12, senior $10; Weekdays (Monday-Thursday): Matinee: $6 for everyone, Evening: adult $10, senior $8.

For additional information, contact ruth@themapletheater.com, visit www.themapletheater.com or call (248) 855-9091.

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