Detroit Movie Palaces
Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Detroit Film Theatre
Detroit Film Theatre
For more than 40 years, filmgoers of the Detroit metropolitan area have supported one of the most dynamic museum film programs in the countrythe Detroit Film Theatre of the Detroit Institute of Arts. In the hushed beauty of the DFT auditorium, audiences have taken trips to many countries, shared in different cultures, and expanded their knowledge of film expression.
The DFT has introduced movie lovers to directors and actors from such countries as China, Iran, Sweden, Brazil, and Australia. Challenging documentaries and restored classic films also have been presented. The detailed schedule and program notes have added to the educational experience of visiting the DFT, which opened in 1974. Stage speeches by DIA film curator Elliot Wilhelm, guest speakers, and others have further enriched theater patrons.
The depth and variety of DFT films show you the vast possibilities for cinema, as well as the daring risks and broad appeal of the theater. You could be profoundly moved by the poignant faces of Albanian emigrants at the end of 1994's Lamerica. The heartbreaking odyssey of a 4-year-old French girl in 1996's Ponette might give you stirring new insights into the emotional lives of children.
New shades of the human condition were revealed in the 1995 documentary Anne Frank Remembered and the 1999 film about the deaf culture, The Sound and the Fury. The 1996 visit of classic American films in the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress was a weekend feast for old movie buffs.
Audiences react to DFT films with a stimulating mixture of the heart and the mind. If a film ends on an upbeat note, the crowd usually bursts into applause. If a film moves the audience, but ends solemnly, you might hear a slow crescendo of scattered clapping. Artistically rewarding films with a blunt, cold message often leave the audience murmuring and maybe reminding themselves, "This is why I come to the DFT, to see a challenging variety of films."
The DFT has made every effort to present its films in the most modern manner, in a comfortable atmosphere. In 2010, it enlarged its screen. 2013 brought digital projection to the theater. In 2014, the climate control system was overhauled.
The DFT has used the DIA auditorium to continually innovate, like with the Saturday Animation Club which started in the summer of 2013.
Innovation also has occurred outside the DIA auditorium, including the sponsorship of outdoor movies in area Metroparks.
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Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated November 25, 2020.
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