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Miracle on 34th Street Opens (August 1947)

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Looking Back

September 1945

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in September 1945. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

For more information about these theaters, see Cinema Treasures or Water Winter Wonderland.


The World War II romantic comedy Christmas in Connecticut opened in Detroit on Friday, September 14, 1945, at the Palms State (Woodward at Elizabeth). It had earlier premiered in New York City on July 27, 1945. In Detroit, Christmas in Connecticut topped a double bill with South of the Rio Grande, starring Duncan Renaldo as the Cisco Kid.

"What happens to a reputedly learned home economics columnist, who could not boil water without burning it, when she is called upon by her unsuspecting boss to entertain a convalescing naval hero at her purely imaginary country home, furnishes most of the motif of 'Christmas in Connecticut,' at the Palms-State," wrote Detroit Free Press movie reviewer L. G. S. on September 15, 1945. "It is an interesting whip-up that finds its appeal more in the expert handling it receives from Dennis Morgan, Barbara Stanwyck, Sydney Greenstreet, Reginald Gardiner and S. Z. Sakall than its dramatic content, amusing as is the story."

"There's a pretty ballad in the picture called 'The Wish That I Wish Tonight,' and it's sung by Morgan," wrote Al Weitschat of The Detroit News in the "Screen in Review" column on September 15, 1945. "It's the earthiest touch of all."

Other Detroit openings on September 14 were Wonder Man (Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Vera-Ellen) at the Adams, and The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry (Ella Raines, George Sanders, Geraldine Fitzgerald) at the Fox.

Ongoing downtown Detroit movies on September 14 included Incendiary Blonde (Betty Hutton, Freddy de Cordova) at the Michigan; Anchors Aweigh (Gene Kelly, Kathryn Grayson, Frank Sinatra) at the United Artists; and Back to Bataan (John Wayne) at the Broadway Capitol (now the Detroit Opera House). The Redford was showing a double bill of Practically Yours (Fred MacMurray, Claudette Colbert) and Thunderhead - Son of Flicka (Roddy McDowall).

The first Detroit run of Christmas in Connecticut ended on September 27, 1945, and the next day the Palms State switched over to a double bill of Blood on the Sun (James Cagney, Sylvia Sidney) and The Phantom of 42nd Street (Dave O'Brien, Kay Aldridge).

Christmas in Connecticut arrived in Detroit neighborhood theaters on January 25, 1946. It screened at the Redford, with South of the Rio Grande, from February 8 to February 14, 1946, before being replaced by a re-issue of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of Christmas in Connecticut at the Michigan on Sunday, October 21, 1945. It played for four days before being replaced on October 25 by Bewitched (Phyllis Thaxter, Edmund Gwenn).

Also playing in Ann Arbor on October 21 were China Sky (Randolph Scott, Ruth Warrick, Ellen Drew) at the State; God is My Co-Pilot (Dennis Morgan) and See My Lawyer (Olsen and Johnson) at the Wuerth; and Arson Squad (Frank Albertson, Robert Armstrong) and Sing Me a Song of Texas (Tom Tyler, Rosemary Lane, Guinn Williams, Carole Mathews) at the Whitney.

Click here to see a PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of Christmas in Connecticut.


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Web site copyright © 2014 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated August 18, 2014.

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