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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 (August 15, 1932).
"Screen Mobilizes Every Ounce of Energy to Drive Wolf from Its Door," read a headline in the August 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 (August 14-September 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 August 18, a lucky moviegoer won a Copeland refrigerator.
In Detroit, RKO's "Greater Show Season" started on August 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 October 7). But other Publix neighborhood theaters stayed open, including the Annex, which on August 28 showed Unashamed (Helen Twelvetrees), along with "Act-News-Novelty-Song". On August 9, Harold Heffernan of The Detroit News reported that the closed Paramount and United Artists theaters were being reconditioned and would re-open around September 1, when "Two outstanding long run pictures will start these houses on fresh careers."
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Web site copyright © 2015 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.
Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated March 3, 2015.
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