Detroit Movie Palaces
Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Detroit Film Theatre
Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in October 1925. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
For more information about these theaters, see Cinema Treasures or Water Winter Wonderland.
The Phantom of the Opera, starring master character actor Lon Chaney, opened in Detroit at the Broadway-Strand theater on Saturday, October 17, 1925. It earlier opened in New York City on September 6, 1925. The Phantom of the Opera was the Universal Studios follow-up to Chaney's dramatic performance in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923).
"That Detroiters appreciate the best in moving pictures is attested in the record-breaking crowds which attended the Broadway Strand theater yesterday to view Universal's splendid production, 'The Phantom of the Opera,' " wrote reviewer Roy E. Marcotte in The Detroit Free Press on October 19, 1925. "This is one of the most spectacular and colorful productions of recent years, notable for its massive and beautiful sets, its story of thrills and mystery, and the powerful acting of the principals, which include Lon Chaney, Norman Kerry, Mary Philbin, and a cast of supernumeraries numbering more than a thousand."
"A most unpleasant spook living five cellars under the great Paris opera house and raising the deuce with the place and everybody connected with it is on display at the Broadway Strand this week, where 'The Phantom of the Opera' is making its first Detroit visit," wrote reviewer Harold Heffernan in The Detroit News on October 19, 1925. "Lovers of the supernaturally mysterious together with those who like the gorgeous in motion pictures will find a rare evening's entertainment in this latest spectacle from the studios of Universal."
Also opening in Detroit with The Phantom of the Opera were The Freshman (Harold Lloyd) at the Adams; A Regular Fellow (Raymond Griffith) at the Capitol; A Son of His Father (Bessie Love, Warner Baxter) at the Madison; and Under the Rouge (Tom Moore, Eileen Percy) at the Colonial. Also downtown was John Ford's The Iron Horse (Madge Bellamy, George O'Brien) at the Fox-Washington.
Also in Detroit at this time were The Man Who Found Himself (Thomas Meighan) at the La Salle Garden and Grand Riviera; Grounds for Divorce (Florence Vidor) at the Roosevelt; The Shock Punch (Richard Dix) at the Cinderella; Sun-Up (Pauline Starke, Conrad Nagel) at the Miles; As No Man Has Loved (Edward Hearn) at the Regent; Rin-Tin-Tin, the "Wonder Dog," in Below the Line at the Globe; and a rerelease of Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923) at the Palace.
The Phantom of the Opera played at the Broadway-Strand through the Halloween season. Its first Detroit run lasted until November 13 and was followed by Where Was I? (Reginald Denny).
Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of The Phantom of the Opera at the Wuerth theater on Sunday, November 8, 1925, following a run of The Limited Mail (Monte Blue).
Also playing in Ann Arbor on November 8, 1925 were The Lost World at the Arcade; The King on Main Street (Adolphe Menjou) at the Majestic; The Meddling Woman (Lionel Barrymore) at the Orpheum; and The Winner Takes All (Buck Jones) at the Rae.
The Phantom of the Opera played at the Wuerth for one week, along with the Hal Roach comedy Deaf, Dumb, and Daffy. Musical accompaniment for The Phantom of the Opera was provided by the Wuerth Symphonic Orchestra and a Wurlitzer Concert Organ. The The Phantom of the Opera was followed at the Wuerth on November 15 by The Coming of Amos (Rod La Roque).
Click here to see a PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of The The Phantom of the Opera.
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Last updated November 25, 2020.
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