From 1941-1951, the Paradise Theater thrived in Paradise Valley (the entertainment and business district for Black Detroiters in the Black Bottom neighborhood). In 1941, brothers Ben and Lou Cohen bought and opened the Paradise Theater, formally Orchestra Hall, to showcase an array of Black talent and garner the support of African American patrons. During its reign, Paradise Theater hosted world renowned jazz musicians and entertainers including Cab Colloway, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, the Deep River Boys, Maxine Sullivan, etc. Today, we remember the Paradise Theater and its impact on our city and our culture.
“Detroit Gets Legit House.” New York Amsterdam Star-News. Jan 10, 1942, pg. 16