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

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Explore theater history
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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Looking Back

December 1931

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in December 1931. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

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


Two-for-one tickets were part of Joy Month, which was celebrated in Ann Arbor at the Michigan and the other Butterfield theaters (Majestic and Wuerth). The Ann Arbor Daily News and other local businesses helped sponsor this promotion, which included merchant booths in the Michigan lobby. "A normal Christmas will hasten the return of normal times and stimulate manufacturing all along the line," read a News ad.

The Michigan lineup included Possessed (Joan Crawford and Clark Gable), Private Lives (Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery) and His Woman (Gary Cooper and Claudette Colbert). Lead acting Oscars for 1931-32 were earned by Helen Hayes in The Sin of Madelon Claudet and Wallace Beery in The Champ. A New Year's Eve Midnight Frolic featured The Guardsman (Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne) and Helpmates (Laurel and Hardy), along with novelties, hats, favors and noisemakers.

Laurel and Hardy also helped usher in 1932 at the Redford, appearing in Beau Hunks on a Dec. 31 midnight double bill with A Dangerous Affair (Jack Holt). The two comics also opened for Warner Baxter in The Cisco Kid. Other film favorites were Susan Lenox (Her Fall and Rise), with Greta Garbo and Clark Gable; The Yellow Ticket (Lionel Barrymore); and Palmy Days (Eddie Cantor). Double bills included the pairing of The Big Gamble (Bill Boyd) and Alexander Hamilton (George Arliss).

A SWAP advertisement in the Detroit Free Press (in which goods were offered for other goods) earned two free tickets to a Publix Show theater (Fisher, Michigan, Paramount, State or United Artists). Christmas Day entertainment at the Fisher included live music by Duke Ellington, the feature film Under Eighteen (Marian Marsh), a Mickey Mouse Christmas cartoon, juvenile star Bob Nolan's Miniature Revue, and Eduard Werner guest directing the Fisher Orchestra.

At the Little Cinema Theatre in Detroit (56 E. Columbia near Woodward), the German language Zwei Menschen (Two People) was followed by Die Vom Rummelplatz (People of the Side Show).


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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.