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Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in November 1935. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
A Night at the Opera, the first Marx Brothers movie for M-G-M, opened in Detroit on Friday, November 15, 1935, at the Michigan theater. It later opened in New York City on December 6, 1935.
"Those comedy maniacs, the Marx brothers-Groucho, Harpo and Chico-are running mad in perhaps the screwiest of all their insane offerings on screen and stage to date," wrote Ella H. McCormick in the November 16, 1935 edition of The Detroit Free Press. "But if there be a soul in this town, or anywhere else in the Country, who can sit longer than 60 seconds with a dead pan countenance while watching the three nuttiest comics on land or sea he should be isolated as the ninth wonder."
"To recommend these exercises to audiences wishing to laugh it need only be reported that three of the four mad Marx brothers are present-Groucho, Chico and Harpo," read a review in the November 16, 1935 edition of The Detroit News. "The one who made their fourth, Zeppo, has become a business man, an actor's agent, a 10-per-center in Hollywood jargon. His place has been taken by Allan Jones, a singing substitute who has the romantic manner, a sweet voice in the tenor register, and a certain appeal which may be proved in time."
Other downtown Detroit movies on November 15 included The Melody Lingers On (Josephine Hutchinson) at the United Artists; The Bishop Misbehaves (Edmund Gwenn) at the State; King Solomon of Broadway (Dorothy Page) at the Adams; Thanks a Million (Dick Powell) at the Fox; Transatlantic Tunnel (Richard Dix) at the RKO Downtown; and O'Shaughnessy's Boy (Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper) at the Madison.
A Night at the Opera returned to Detroit for a second run on January 10, 1936, with screenings at the Fisher, Madison, Riviera, Hollywood, RKO Uptown, and Cinderella.
Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of A Night at the Opera at their Michigan theater on Sunday, December 8, 1935. It played for four days, along with a Paramount Pictorial and other short movies.
"Those maniacal Marxes-Groucho, Chico and Harpo-dart about Italy, an ocean liner and the Metropolitan Opera in their latest photoplay, 'A Night at the Opera', which opened at the Michigan yesterday and played to packed houses at every performance," read a review in the December 9, 1935 edition of The Ann Arbor Daily News. "They make a frolic of the opera, and the screen play which George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind wrote for them is a production of a lot of laughter, so productive, in fact, that half of the wisecracks are missed."
Also playing in Ann Arbor on December 8 were The Melody Lingers On (Josephine Hutchinson) at the Majestic; His Night Out (Edward Everett Horton) and Black Fury (Paul Muni) at the Whitney; and Bright Lights (Joe E. Brown) and The Gay Deception (Francis Lederer) at the Wuerth.
Click here to see a PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of A Night at the Opera.
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