Former AMC Star Southfield movie theater could become a megachurch

Triumph Church has submitted plans to purchase the shuttered theater for its seventh location

May 4, 2022 at 4:25 pm
click to enlarge RIP, AMC Star Southfield. - Screen grab/Google Maps
Screen grab/Google Maps
RIP, AMC Star Southfield.

It hasn’t been a good year for movie theaters. Royal Oak’s Main Art Theatre is on its way to becoming a multi-use complex, and now the AMC Star Southfield theater may be getting turned into a megachurch.

Triumph Church, which has six locations across Detroit, Flint, Southfield, and Northville Township, has submitted plans to purchase the theater. The Southfield Planning Commission is expected to make a decision on the church’s site plan at a meeting later this month, according to Crain’s Detroit Business.

The theater, located at 25333 W. 12 Mile Road, has been closed since 2020 when AMC temporarily shut down all of its theaters due to the pandemic. The Southfield theater, however, did not re-open due to an expired lease.

The church’s purchase would be part of a deal with the theater’s current owner, EPR Properties, which is based out of Kansas City, Missouri.

Rev. Solomon Kinloch Jr. told Crain’s the church’s plans for the theater include a worship center, children’s area, and community space to provide local residents with transportation assistance, employment skills training, and counseling, among other services,

Construction is expected to begin in about a year and take 18-24 months to complete, Kinloch told Crain’s. The theater is about 184,500 square feet and sits on 22 acres.

This isn’t Triumph Church’s first rodeo in rehabbing an abandoned property to add to its worship arsenal. In 2013, the church purchased the shuttered JC Penney at Northland Mall, according to a report by the Detroit Free Press. The congregation hosted a drive-in Sunday service in the former retail location’s parking lot during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Beyond the former JC Penney, the church has locations at 2760 E. Grand Blvd. and 15801 Joy Rd. in Detroit, 1657 Broadway Blvd. in Flint, 19801 Vernier Rd. in Harper Woods, and 16115 Beck Rd. in Northville Township.

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