Archive for the ‘Silent Movies’ Category

The Sunset of an Era

Monday, February 16th, 2009

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

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). 

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The Kunsky Touch

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

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, 2008the Redford Theatre and the Royal Oak Music Theatre. (Motor City Marquees, Stuart Galbraith IV)

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A Novel Idea

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

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.

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Traveling by Cinema

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

If the rising price of gasoline is making you rethink your vacation plans for this summer, the movie ticket agents at the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre can help you travel back through time with rich programs of classic movies.

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The Fullness of Its Years

Sunday, April 20th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

Even before the entertainment began on the night when the Redford Theatre celebrated its 80th birthday (April 19, 2008), I could sense a deeper, richer feeling in the theater than I usually did.  This feeling brought out more of the texture and details of this ancient wonder, like the intimate lighting under the pagoda eaves and the smooth varnish of the staircase railing.

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Projections

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

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.

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Weekend Impressions (March 2008)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

Notes from a movie palace weekend (March 14-16, 2008):

After enjoying the focused intimacy of the Redford Theatre (Friday, March 14, 2008) and the Detroit Film Theatre (March 15), the spaciousness of the Michigan Theater on March 16 hit me very strongly. Steven Ball’s organ playing drifted out into the Grand Foyer and the street energy of downtown Ann Arbor continued into the Michigan’s auditorium.

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Here Comes Buster

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

If I had to pick one film that tied together the interests of most visitors to the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre, it would be Buster Keaton’s 1927 silent comedy The General. A close second would be The Phantom of the Opera (1925) with Lon Chaney. 

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More Than Just Words

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

An 81-year-old American silent movie and a current French film recently gave Michigan Theater audiences the chance to see how movies can entertain through different kinds of non-verbal communication.

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Forty Years of Musical Magic

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Detroit Movie Palaces Home Page 

“We have survived for 40 years, and we’re still going strong!”  David Martin’s announcement from the stage of the Redford Theatre on Sept. 22, 2007 was met with a strong burst of applause, on this evening when the Motor City Theatre Organ Society celebrated 40 years of organ concerts at the Redford.

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