Ernie D's Campus Ballroom

The Campus Ballroom is one of Detroit's lesser-known music venues, once part of a commercial strip that wrapped around the corner of Fenkell and Livernois. A brief note in an issue of Variety puts the opening date of the Campus Ballroom at 1927. By 1930, old-time dancing was becoming popular, spurred on in part by Henry Ford, who promoted it as a return to the styles of 60 years before. The Campus Ballroom went over to a old-time policy in 1930, and by 1933 the ballroom was doing solid business, with one hall playing modern music, and one playing old-time.

In the 1940's, the Campus was run by Eddie Dreyer, a former orchestra leader who owned the Campus and Garden ballrooms. The ballroom was playing old-time dances, including polkas, waltzes, and square dancing three nights a week, and swing on the other two nights. The ballroom became Ernie D's Campus Ballroom in the 1970's, run by "Frantic" Ernie Durham, a popular radio DJ on WJLB, America's first black-owned radio station.

By the late 1990's, the ballroom on the second floor had been vacant for years, while the shops on the first floor were only partially occupied by an electronics shop. The ballroom and storefronts are in extremely bad shape today, with the floors caving in.