DetroitIsIt 2

Theatre Bizarre Sexy Takes Over the Halloween Season

From Detroit’s Most Underground Halloween Party to a Cultural Institution


October in Detroit, the season formerly known as Halloween and now known as the season of Theatre Bizarre, arguably the city’s most well attended party—and internationally one of the most epic and immersive theatre experiences in existence.

The party is a series of parties that runs throughout the month, including a black tie preview. Not exactly what you’d expect from a night of combination haunted house and burlesque. But not completely unexpected in a world of everyone going to Burning Man including your Katy Perry, Elon Musk, and your friend from high school.

But did you know that Theatre Bizarre’s origins trace back to the Russell Industrial in the 1990s? They do. When the party got too big, Theatre Bizarre founder and Kresge Arts Fellow, John Dunivant, teamed up with some friends (also throwing Halloween parties) to create the sprawling outdoor wonderland of immersive art that was for years Detroiters most sacred and secret and, yes, highly illegal party that ran for years before it was finally forced to play inside the lines.

The original party took place on a collection of land and houses, where a community of artists grew parallel with the festivities. Outdoor sets became an recreated old Western town as more land and houses were purchased to create a real life village of makers. At one point someone made a rollercoaster that shoots flames. The rollercoaster and many of the original sets still stand on private property—with some of Theatre Bizarre’s core staff still residing on these original Theatre Bizarre grounds.


Get your tickets at:

Leon and Lulu
The only retailer to carry both the Masquerade Gala and the Main Event:
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)
$260 Gala – (plus $10 Service Charge)

96 W. 14 Mile
Clawson, MI 48017

Iconic Tattoo
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)

3401 Cass Ave
Detroit, MI, 48201

Rat Queen Vintage
$105 Main Event – (plus $2 Service Charge)

10031 Jos Campau Ave
Hamtramck, MI, 48212

Vault of Midnight – Detroit
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)

1226 Library St
Detroit, MI, 48226

Vault of Midnight – Ann Arbor
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)

219 S Main St
Ann Arbor, MI, 48104

Armageddon Beach Party Lounge
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)

1517 Putnam St
Detroit 48208

Noir Leather
$105 Main Event – (plus $5 Service Charge)
~ CASH ONLY ~ (unless making an in-store purchase of costume attire)

124 W 4th St
Royal Oak 48067