Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Look What's Coming!
Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in August 1932. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
Optimism greeted the opening of the 1932-33 movie season. "According to Variety, barometer of the show business, the general feeling is that the theaters 'after struggling with the worst summer they've ever known,' are beginning to recover," wrote Harold Heffernan in "The Sound of the Screen" column in The Detroit News (Aug. 15, 1932).
"Screen Mobilizes Every Ounce of Energy to Drive Wolf from Its Door," read a headline in the Aug. 28, 1932 Detroit News. The article said that moviegoers could look forward to new films like Blonde Venus (Marlene Dietrich); Love Me Tonight (Maurice Chevalier); A Farewell to Arms (Helen Hayes); Cecil B. DeMille's The Sign of the Cross; and Back Street.
At the Michigan in Ann Arbor, the Greater Movie Season (Aug. 14-Sept. 10) opened with The Washington Masquerade, starring Lionel Barrymore and Karen Morley. After that came Hollywood Speaks (Genevieve Tobin, Pat O'Brien); Skyscraper Souls (Warren William, Maureen O'Sullivan); The Purchase Price (Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent); and a weeklong run of the hilarious Marx Brothers comedy, Horse Feathers.
Earlier at the Michigan, Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell appeared in their latest movie, The First Year. The 10 a.m. Saturday children's movies included Tom Sawyer (1930), Polly of the Circus and Border Law (Buck Jones). Short features included film of 1932 Olympics champion Eddie Tolan, of the University of Michigan. On Aug. 18, a lucky moviegoer won a Copeland refrigerator.
In Detroit, RKO's "Greater Show Season" started on Aug. 11 at the RKO Downtown, with Walter Huston in Frank Capra's American Madness. The next day, the laughter rolled through the Michigan in Detroit with the opening of Horse Feathers (The Marx Brothers). Later at the RKO Downtown, Dolores del Rio and Joel McCrea starred in King Vidor's Bird of Paradise.
The Redford remained dark following its temporary closing on July 8 (it would re-open Oct. 7). But other Publix neighborhood theaters stayed open, including the Annex, which on Aug. 28 showed Unashamed (Helen Twelvetrees), along with "Act-News-Novelty-Song". On Aug. 9, Harold Heffernan of The Detroit News reported that the closed Paramount and United Artists theaters were being reconditioned and would re-open around Sept. 1, when "Two outstanding long run pictures will start these houses on fresh careers."
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 March 2, 2014.
Graphics courtesy of the Absolute Web Graphics Archive and Christmas Graphics Plus.
Videos courtesy of YouTube, Turner Classic Movies, and the Internet Archive.