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Looking Back

November 1951

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in November 1951. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

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


An American in Paris with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron opened in Detroit at the Adams Theater on Wednesday, November 21, 1951, just in time for Thanksgiving weekend.

At the Adams, An American in Paris succeeded The Blue Veil (Jane Wyman, Richard Carlson, Joan Blondell).

"Hollywood's first big step toward producing a movie in any way comparable to 'The Red Shoes' or 'Tales of Hoffmann' has been taken by MGM," wrote Helen Bower in the Detroit Free Press on November 22, 1951. "The picture, 'An American in Paris' in Technicolor with George Gershwin's music, opens Wednesday at the Adams Theater."

Other downtown Detroit movies when An American in Paris opened were A Streetcar Named Desire (Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh) at the Madison; Golden Girl (Mitzi Gaynor, Dale Robertson, Dennis Day) and Love Nest (June Haver, William Lundigan, Marilyn Monroe) at the Fox; and Two Tickets to Broadway (Tony Martin, Janet Leigh, Gloria DeHaven) and The Sea Hornet (Rod Cameron, Adele Mara) at the Michigan.

Also showing were When Worlds Collide (Peter Hanson, Barbara Rush, Richard Derr) and As You Were (William Tracy, Joe Sawyer) at the Palms; Too Young to Kiss (June Allyson, Van Johnson) and The Unknown Man (Walter Pidgeon, Ann Harding, Barry Sullivan) at the United Artists; The Mob (Broderick Crawford) and Rhubarb (Ray Milland, Jan Sterling) at the Broadway-Capitol; and Tales of Hoffmann at the Cinema.

The Redford was also screening The Mob and Rhubarb. The Senate was showing Here Comes the Groom (Bing Crosby, Jane Wyman) and Peking Express (Joseph Cotten). Art house films included The Barber of Seville (Ferruccio Tagliavinis) at the Coronet; Jean Renoir's The River at the Krim; and Tight Little Island at the Studio.

At the Paradise, Cameron Mitchell and Joanna Blake starred on screen in Smuggler's Gold, while on stage, music was performed by Johnny Hodges and his Castlerock Orchestra, The Orioles, Joe Morris and His Orchestra, and Jackie "Moms" Mabley.

An American in Paris played for two months at the Adams, until January 24, 1952, before being replaced with I Want You (Dana Andrews, Dorothy McGuire, Farley Granger, Peggy Dow).

An American in Paris played at the Redford from February 24 to 26, 1952 on a double bill with The Basketball Fix (John Ireland).

Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of An American in Paris at the Michigan Theatre on Saturday, November 24, 1951.

Also playing in Ann Arbor that day were Sunny Side of the Street (Frankie Laine, Billy Daniels, Terry Moore) at the State; Show Boat (Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel) and Lucky Nick Cain (George Raft) at the Wuerth Theatre; and Four in a Jeep at the Orpheum Cinema. At the University of Michigan, the SL Cinema Guild screened the 1934 classic It Happened One Night (Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable) at the Architecture Auditorium.

An American in Paris played for one week at the Michigan, until November 30, 1951, before being replaced with Golden Girl (Mitzi Gaynor, Dale Robertson, Dennis Day).


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This website is not affiliated with the Detroit Film Theatre, the Michigan Theater, or the Redford Theatre.

Website copyright © 2019 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated November 11, 2018.

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