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Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in July 1948. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
Easter Parade, the Irving Berlin M-G-M musical starring Judy Garland and Fred Astaire, opened in Detroit on Friday, July 16, 1948, at the Adams. It had earlier premiered in New York City on June 30, 1948.
"In 1946 Fred Astaire announced that he would do his last movie dancing chore in 'Blue Skies,' and his screen retirement became an accepted fact," wrote John Finlayson in The Detroit News on July 16, 1948. "But here in 'Easter Parade,' a sprightly, well dressed, fast-moving musical, the top man of the tappers comes back with a bounce and, one is tempted to say, as agile and versatile as ever. But one cautiously recognizes that Fred is on the threshold of his 50's."
"Americans are fond of exclaiming that 'There ought to be a law,' " wrote Helen Bower in the Detroit Free Press on July 16, 1948. "There OUGHT to be a law against so much as another whisper of retirement by Fred Astaire. Two years ago he decided to retire from stage and screen. If he'd stuck to that awful decision we wouldn't have 'Easter Parade' in Technicolor at the Adams Theater, with Judy Garland co-starred as his dancing partner."
Other downtown Detroit movies on July 16, 1948 included On Our Merry Way (James Stewart, Paulette Goddard, Fred MacMurray, Henry Fonda) at the Broadway-Capitol; The Street with No Name (Mark Stevens, Richard Widmark) at the Fox; Coroner Creek (Randolph Scott, Marguerite Chapman) at the Palms; On an Island with You (Esther Williams, Peter Lawford, Jimmy Durante) at the Michigan; The Emperor Waltz (Bing Crosby) at the United Artists; and Seven Sinners (Marlene Dietrich, John Wayne) at the Downtown.
Also that day, the Redford opened at 5:45 p.m. for a double bill of A Double Life (Ronald Colman in an Oscar-winning performance) and Hazard (Paulette Goddard). Two months later, the Redford screened the re-release of Gone with the Wind on September 26-28, 1948.
Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of Easter Parade at their Michigan theater on Sunday, August 22, 1948. It played for one week, along with the Walt Disney cartoon Pluto's Purchase and Paramount World Action News.
Also playing in Ann Arbor at this time was a re-release of Duel in the Sun (Jennifer Jones, Gregory Peck, Joseph Cotten) at the State ("First Time at Regular Prices!"); Bells of Capistrano (Gene Autry, Smiley Burnette) and Stork Bites Man (Jackie Cooper) at the Whitney; and Three Daring Daughters (Jeannette McDonald, Jose Iturbi, Jane Powell) at the Wuerth. At the Ypsi-Ann Drive-In Theatre, families enjoyed cartoons starring Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Popeye.
Click here to see a PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of Easter Parade.
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