Motown Museum reopens after 4-month closure


Motown Museum tour guide Jamia Henry talks about Studio A in the museum, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, in Detroit. The Detroit building where Berry Gordy Jr. built his music empire reopened its doors to the public on Wednesday. It had been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (News Nation/AP) — Get ready, because the Motown Museum is back in business.

The Detroit building where Berry Gordy, Jr. built his music empire reopened to the public on Wednesday. It had been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

And visitors flocked to Hitsville, U.S.A.

“We were almost sold out today,” Robin Terry, chairwoman and CEO of the Motown Museum, told reporters, while wearing a “Hitsville” face mask. “So, it seems to be working for our visitors and still meeting our safety and security expectations.”

Before entering the building, guests were required to fill out a health questionnaire and get their temperature checked. If they passed, museum representatives gave them a sticker to wear that read: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered. I’m Good,” referencing the Stevie Wonder hit.

Once inside, groups of no more than 10 visitors at a time were given guided tours of the historic building on West Grand Boulevard. To help maintain the recommended social distance, guests found record-shaped decals on the floor, scattered throughout the museum. They read: “Stop in the Name of Love. Stay 6FT Apart.”

One other big change pertains to still photography, which was long forbidden inside the museum. Now, it is not only permitted, it’s encouraged.

“That’s probably the most celebrated change at Motown Museum,” Terry said. “For a long time, you couldn’t take pictures here. And we said, ‘What better time than now to allow our patrons, our fans, to come and capture their moments at Hitsville and share them with the world.”

Gordy launched Motown in 1959. His late sister, Esther Gordy Edwards, founded the museum in the former Hitsville headquarters in 1985. Many artists including Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, and Marvin Gaye recorded hits there before Motown moved to California in 1972.

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