As the multi-colored leaves fall, and the afternoon light takes on a crystal clear glow, many people enjoy the stimulating pleasures of autumn. The crisp temperatures and dramatic sunsets intensify one’s feeling for life. The approaching end of another year fills a person with reflective insights. The summer season is over, fall/winter arts events have begun, and people are drawn more to indoor group activities.
The Detroit Movie Palaces tap into these emotions to provide some of their strongest programming of the year. On this web site, the Old Movies and Foreign Films pages burst with an incredible variety of activity. For example, on the weekend before Halloween, the Redford Theatre and Detroit Film Theatre show three different 1953 films: an Abbott and Costello horror comedy, a children’s film that was written by Dr. Seuss, and a dramatic ghost story from Japan.
The DFT is in high gear, after kicking off its 2006/2007 season on September 7. October started with the latest appearance by crowd favorites The Alloy Orchestra, who were in the Halloween mood with a double bill of the silent movies The Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu. The DFT also is dipping into the past with a Sunday night series of films by Japanese directors Hiroshi Teshigahara and Kenji Mizoguchi.
The DFT also continues its tradition of modern world cinema, which this fall includes Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (China, Oct. 13-15), Keeping Mum (England, Oct. 20-22), La Moustache (France, Nov. 3-5) and C.R.A.Z.Y. (Canada, Nov. 10-12). And youthful pop culture fills the elegant DFT auditorium on Oct. 26-28 with Tales of the Rat Fink and It Came from Detroit.
At the Michigan, the Monday night Comic Masters Film Series adds some laughter to the start of the work week with movies by Woody Allen (Radio Days, Oct. 23), Mel Brooks (The Producers, Oct. 30), Blake Edwards (A Shot in the Dark, Nov. 20) and Hal Ashby (Being There, Dec. 11). The Family-Friendly Film Series also resumes, with The Muppets Take Manhattan on Oct. 8 and The Wizard of Oz (Oct. 29).
If you’re in a more serious mood, the Michigan is screening the historical dramas Infamous (starting Oct. 13), The Last King of Scotland (opening Oct. 20) and The Queen (starting Oct. 27). The 1922 silent horror film Nosferatu makes its annual appearance at the Michigan on Oct. 27, with live accompaniment by silent film composer/arranger Gillian Anderson and members of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.
The generous and creative volunteers of the Redford Theatre are currently presenting a nine-weekend stretch of entertainment that includes both movies and live performances. On the screen, the Redford presents some of its most popular attractions, including the Three Stooges on Oct. 6-7.
The Redford goes all out for Halloween, with spooky decorations, costumed visitors, and scary movies like The Birds (Oct. 20-21) and Frankenstein (Oct. 27-28). Other movie treats include My Fair Lady (Nov. 3-4) and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Nov. 17-18). Live presentations include an Oct. 15 concert with the Miracles and Contours, the annual Salute to Our Veterans on Nov. 10, and a vaudeville show on Nov. 11.
So after raking a few leaves or watching a college football game, visit a Detroit Movie Palace. The cozy friendliness of these theaters wraps itself around you just like a beautiful fall day.
Copyright 2006 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.