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September Looking Back: 1920 1931 1932 1945 1953 1956 1957 1964 1981 1982

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Looking Back

May 1956

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in May 1956. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

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


It's Friday, May 11, 1956. At the Redford, doors open at 5:45 p.m. for a double feature of Our Miss Brooks (with Eve Arden) and Hell on Frisco Bay (Alan Ladd and Edward G. Robinson). Our Miss Brooks starts at 6 and 9:10 p.m. and is described in ads as "the funniest manhunt since the first Eve put the bite on Adam's Apple." Hell on Frisco Bay is "the blistering story of a fall guy who was cheated by his wife," and shows at 7:25 and 10:40 p.m.

The most popular movies at the Redford in May 1956 were the dramas Rose Tattoo and The Man with the Golden Arm. Italian actress Anna Magnani won a lead actress Oscar for Rose Tattoo, which led Redford double bills that included Alfred Hitchcock's black comedy The Trouble with Harry and the war drama Hell's Horizon. Frank Sinatra received his only Best Actor Academy Award nomination for The Man with the Golden Arm, which appeared on Redford twin bills with the western At Gunpoint (Fred MacMurray) and the Blake Edwards musical comedy Bring Your Smile Along.

The science fiction craze of the 1950s hit the Michigan Theater with "2 Science Shockers That Will Have You Gasping For Breath!": World Without End and The Atomic Man. But that's not all! Three weeks later, "The Top Shock Show Of All Time" arrived at the Michigan with Day the World Ended and The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues. On a quieter note, the Michigan hosted a 15th anniversary reissue of Citizen Kane.

John Wayne visited Detroit on Friday, May 18 to promote his new movie The Searchers, which opened that day exclusively at the Palms Theater (Woodward and Elizabeth). Wayne told Detroit Free Press Movie Critic Helen Bower, "The more people can know you, the better it is for your pictures." Daily showings of The Searchers (and second feature The Scarlet Hour) ran from 11:12 a.m. until about 6 a.m. the next morning.

The World and Studio movie theaters hosted the first Detroit showing of the 1954 French film The Game of Love ("Strictly For Adults," said the ads).


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

Website copyright © 2016 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated September 27, 2016.

Graphics courtesy of Christmas Graphics Plus, Free GIFs and Animation, and 123GIFS.

Videos courtesy of YouTube and Turner Classic Movies.