The Redford Theatre threw open its doors on Saturday, August 1, 2009 for an all-day Open House that gave visitors the special chance to explore the theater in detail.
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.
Redford Theatre fans got a double dose of fun on Saturday, April 4, 2009. The anarchy and silliness of the Three Stooges was spiced with anticipation for a win by the Michigan State University men’s basketball team in the NCAA Final Four, taking place only a few miles away in downtown Detroit.
Towards the end of the Redford Theatre’s showing of Sunset Boulevard (1950) on Feb. 7, 2009, the images and the atmosphere combined to give me a deeper feeling for the significance of both the theater and the movie. Sunset Boulevard is a strange tribute to the silent movie era, thanks in part to the performances of two people who helped make the history of that era (Gloria Swanson and Erich Von Stroheim).
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).
The year 1928 was an amazing year for motion picture theater construction in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. Movie palaces that opened that year include the Fox Theater in downtown Detroit, the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor, and two other still-existing theaters that I visited on July 26, 2008—the Redford Theatre and the Royal Oak Music Theatre. (Motor City Marquees, Stuart Galbraith IV)
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.