The 85th birthday is approaching for the Redford Theatre, the Michigan Theater, and the auditorium of the Detroit Institute of Arts that hosts the Detroit Film Theatre. All three theaters have taken on ambitious renewal projects that will make them more user-friendly, a term that probably wasn’t used when the buildings opened in 1927 and 1928.
Visitors to the Redford Theatre on the evening of April 21, 2012 looked forward to a special night of silent film enjoyment starring the famous Mary Pickford in the 1920 movie Suds. Much of that enjoyment would come from the musical accompaniment by Dave Calendine on the Barton Theatre Pipe Organ that was in the Redford when it opened in 1928.
The people involved in making films often achieve a kind of immortality. That is especially true for French director Jean Vigo, whose last feature film, L’Atalante, was screened at the Detroit Film Theatre on March 10, 2012 as part of the DFT 101 series.
Some film writers have said that motion pictures are paintings of time. After seeing The Mill and the Cross at the Detroit Film Theatre on January 28, 2012, I wondered if a major challenge of painting is to know how to stop time and capture the image of a moment.
Many movie buffs consider 1939 to be Hollywood’s greatest year, with releases like Gone with the Wind, Stagecoach, and Wizard of Oz. But 1940 wasn’t too bad either, and in 2011, visitors to the Detroit Movie Palaces enjoyed some of the highlights of that release year.
Gentle waves of laughter rolled across the main floor of the Michigan Theater, in response to the delicate wit of the 1940 romantic comedy The Shop Around the Corner. Moviegoers watched James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan travel a rocky road to love on Sunday, December 18, 2011, in the latest movie in the Michigan’s Holiday Classic Film Series.
Membership in the Detroit Institute of Arts qualifies you for free admission to the current major exhibition Rembrandt and the Face of Jesus. It also gets you in free to the DFT 101 Saturday afternoon film series at the Detroit Film Theatre.