I made my second visit today to the Detroit Historical Museum’s fascinating exhibit about movie theaters in Detroit. Detroit: The “Reel” Story is a valuable record of local history, and any movie buff should hurry to see this show and find out how the Detroit moviegoing experience has evolved through the years.
Archive for the ‘General Topics’ Category
The 1940s was a Golden Age for Christmas movies. It just seemed the right time for holiday movies, with World War II over and the post-war Baby Boom under way. Area moviegoers have a wonderful opportunity this year to see many of these holiday classics on the big screen.
In the 20 years that I’ve regularly attended the Detroit Film Theatre, and the 10 years that I’ve visited the Michigan Theater and Redford Theatre, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy many classic films, from silent movies like Buster Keaton’s The General (1927) to lively musicals like The Pirate (1948) to foreign language films like The Grand Illusion (1937).
In the fascinating new book Detroit’s Downtown Movie Palaces (2006, Arcadia Publishing), authors Michael Hauser and Marianne Weldon write:
“When reviewing the history of how downtown Detroit’s movie palaces evolved, one word certainly comes to mind, and that is visionary.”
From my research for the Looking Back feature of this web site, I’ve found that the movies of 1931 were affected by many trends and social forces. Sound was still a novelty, with the word “Talkie” often used to advertise films. New stars like Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck crowded out old silent movie favorites like Buster Keaton, Clara Bow, and John Gilbert.