Detroit Movie Palaces
Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Detroit Film Theatre
The finely preserved detail of the Redford Theatre auditorium makes visitors look up with the same kind of wonder that they might feel for the Rocky Mountains or skyscrapers in New York City. The low theater lighting brings out the glowing gold features of the Japanese architecture.
The deep blue ceiling resembles a night sky, with star-like lights and moving shadows that simulate drifting clouds. At floor level, the stained glass Exit signs, scattered plants, and smoky amber walls add to the warmth of the atmosphere.
In 2006, the Detroit chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized the Redford as having one of the ten best building interiors in Detroit. The Redford Theatre Building (17354 Lahser Avenue) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 31, 1985.
The outer lobby has a fascinating array of detail. Brightly designed publicity material announces upcoming events. An old motion projector shows how the screen magic of the Redford is created when 35 or 70-mm films are shown. At the 50/50 raffle counter, you can buy recordings by musicians who have performed at the Redford.
The magic of the Redford really hits you when you enter the inner lobby, with the smell of popcorn and the sounds of voices echoing off the beautifully detailed high ceiling, which includes crystal chandeliers from the old Oriental/RKO Downtown Theater in Detroit. The identically balanced staircases to the balcony welcome you like open arms.
When you climb one of those staircases, you're treated to a constantly shifting panorama of intriguing images. You get a close-up look at the large murals of Japanese figures that also appear in the auditorium. You'll also see the stained glass beauty of the chandeliers, and the finely painted woodwork that adorns much of the theater. A railed passageway on the lobby side of the balcony includes interesting information displays, as well as a birds-eye view of the concession stand area.
At the concession stand, you'll find what might be the widest variety of movie theater goodies in the Detroit area. You'll find all your favorite candy bars, along with pretzels, popcorn and other snacks. In 2003, the Detroit Free Press gave the Redford its Best Concession Stand award in its Best of Detroit issue. And if you feel like donating your concession change to the theater, the glass donation jar adds a resonant ringing sound to the good feeling that you get from helping the Redford.
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Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated November 25, 2020.
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