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Detroit Movie Palaces

The Film Programs of the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre

Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!

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Under the Stars

August Blog Entries: 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

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in the Looking Back feature!

Miracle on 34th Street Opens (August 1947)

August Looking Back: 1927 1931 1932 1939 1947 1956 1957 1981 1982

Look What's Coming!

Watch the DFT web site for news about the fall lineup of films.
The Michigan launches another University of Michigan school year with the classic Casablanca on September 1.

Thrill to the adventures of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at the Redford on September 12 and 13.

 

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Detroit Film Theatre

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Elegant Showcase

The DFT auditorium was built in 1927 as part of the original construction of the DIA. As you wait for a film to begin, it's easy to get lost in admiration for the different details of the auditorium. The dark blue and gold color scheme adds to the depth and intimacy of the theater. As you gaze around, you find mysterious faces, human figures, and animals sculpted in the silver and gold detail of the walls, ceiling, and doorways.

The physical beauty extends outside of the auditorium. The inner and outer lobbies are an efficient mixture of brass, glass, and stone that guide you through the theater with a heightened sense of sophistication. From the inner lobby, two symmetrically located stairways lead to the balcony and the Crystal Gallery Café. These stone stairways include risers made from the Pewabic Pottery that is crafted in Detroit.

The small spaces and hard surfaces add muffled, dreamlike echoes to the texture of the theater. Some carved-out stone at the top of each stairwell looks like fossil excavations. Look more closely and you'll see the names of artists who have inspired the setting—Beethoven, Bach and Mozart on one side, and Molière, Shakespeare and Schiller on the other.

Comfortable food smells greet you at the top of the stairs to the balcony level. The Crystal Gallery Café includes snack food like cookies and cake; alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages; and full meals like salads, soups, and quiche. The café makes the DFT a self-contained experience for patrons looking for just a dinner and a movie. It also adds a welcome touch of friendliness and relaxation after a serious DFT film.

The café is set in an airy, well-lit space that is ornamented with chandeliers, high vaulted ceilings, and large windows that bring in much natural light. And although you can't take the food into the theater, the relaxed atmosphere of the café more than compensates, with its cushioned chairs, small tables, and subdued air of conversation. The lights from the John R entrance to the DIA add dramatic shadows to the ceiling of the café.

Next Page: Sophisticated Surroundings

 


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

Web site copyright © 2014 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated August 18, 2014.

Graphics courtesy of Christmas Graphics Plus and Free GIFs and Animation.

Videos courtesy of YouTube and Turner Classic Movies.