If this year’s summer blockbusters leave you muttering, “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” the Detroit Movie Palaces have the perfect alternative.
Between now and Labor Day, the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater and Redford Theatre present a breathtaking variety of classic films that range from silent movies of the 1920s to modern classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Back to the Future (1985).
Fans of science fiction and fantasy will be ecstatic. The Redford is screening Back to the Future and the original King Kong (1933), while the Michigan is presenting Close Encounters and the dark Slaughterhouse Five (1972). The DFT is hosting Saturday afternoon double bills of American and Japanese sci-fi adventures.
You’ll have two chances to see Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers at their best: Top Hat (1935, Michigan) and Shall We Dance (1937, Redford). Other musical treats include Till the Clouds Roll By (1946, Redford), On the Town (1949, Redford), Pal Joey (1957, Michigan) and Nashville (1975, Michigan).
For laughs, you’ll chuckle and howl at Duck Soup (1933, Michigan) and The Thin Man (1934, Michigan). You’ll admire the work of great directors like John Ford (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 1962, Michigan) and Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho, 1960, Michigan).
If you’re looking for a Best Picture Oscar winner, look no further than The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, Redford). Other dramas include The Little Fugitive (1953, Michigan), A Raisin in the Sun (1961, Michigan) and the French language Children of Paradise (1945, Michigan).
Silent film lovers will enjoy live musical accompaniment to Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last! (1923, Michigan), The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926, DFT), and a collection of short avant garde movies from France and the United States (DFT, July 13).
The DFT’s Saturday double bills include American fantasy thrillers like 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), Mysterious Island (1961) and Jason and the Argonauts (1963). These movies will be paired with Japanese language adventures like Godzilla (1954), Battle in Outer Space (1959) and Mothra (1961).
Old movies are always crowdpleasers at all three movie palaces. If you’ve thought about visiting one of these theaters for the first time, this summer is a great chance for that. You know you’ll enjoy the movie, and you’ll also discover a wonderful new moviegoing experience.
Copyright 2007 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.