The Detroit Movie Palaces add so much variety to the experiences of area moviegoers that it’s extra fun when they create different ways to enjoy the same movie. That happened recently when the Michigan Theater and the Redford Theatre screened the 1964 children’s classic Mary Poppins.
Archive for the ‘Michigan Theater’ Category
So there I was, sitting in the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on May 4, 2009, watching a film set in Ashdod, Israel in which a young half Russian/half Israeli boy was trying to learn dances that originated in Spain and England. His instructor was a famous Russian dancer who was considering going to a dance competition in Stockholm, Sweden.
The first time that I heard of the Millers Creek Film Festival, it struck me as the perfect example of the Michigan Theater as a Public Access Movie Theater. Here were some local activists in the Ann Arbor area who took the initiative to create a film festival out of their special interest. And there was the Michigan, ever ready to play its role as a community meeting place.
Most people’s favorite Christmas movies probably include the 1946 drama It’s a Wonderful Life and the 1954 musical White Christmas. On Dec. 20, 2008, I had the heartwarming privilege of seeing a big screen double feature of these two holiday classics at the Michigan Theater (It’s a Wonderful Life) and the Redford Theatre (White Christmas).
After a whirlwind of filmgoing that took me to all three of the Detroit Movie Palaces, I have many blessings to count in this season of Thanksgiving.
As I write this, my mind and emotions are reflecting on the enjoyment and the enrichment of: a family classic (The Wizard of Oz); a newly discovered barrel of fun (3 Ring Circus); a dramatic look at an Italian family (Days and Clouds); and two skillfully nuanced and emotionally gripping films (I’ve Loved You So Long and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas).
I’ve always enjoyed escaping into the Michigan Theater for its refreshing atmosphere and entertainment, but never more than on July 18, 2008, when I visited the Ann Arbor Art Fairs. Without the cool spaciousness of the Michigan, the art fairs would have been a weary test of endurance, instead of a wide variety of mid-summer activities and entertainments.
To better appreciate the preservation of the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre, think about the outpouring of memories and emotions that have come this past week because of the demolition of Tiger Stadium.
And just imagine the news stories that might have been written if special efforts had not been made to maintain the DFT, Michigan and Redford for future generations:
The recently published mystery novel Frames is partially set in an old movie theater in Los Angeles. Reading this entertaining book by Michigan author Loren D. Estleman was made a lot more fun by my experiences at the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre.
The blank film lay on the table in the Grand Foyer of the Michigan Theater, waiting for visitors to the 46th annual Ann Arbor Film Festival to mark up frames to produce a series of images that would later be projected on the main theater screen. A few feet away, some toy animals and a moveable projector awaited other filmgoers’ attempts at stop-motion animation.