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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!

Remodeled Michigan Opens (September 1956)

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

Look What's Coming!

The Masterpieces of Polish Cinema series at the Michigan continues on October 6 with The Illumination.
Rita Moreno appears on screen in West Side Story and in person at the Redford on September 26, 27, and 28.

The fall season of the DFT opens on October 10 with the dramas A Master Builder and Jealousy.

 

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Looking Back

September 1956

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

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


"Grand Opening Of The Completely Remodeled Michigan," read a large ad in the September 26, 1956 Ann Arbor News. That evening, Michigan patrons first enjoyed a "new entrance and marquee, magnificent lobby, double box office for fast service, re-designed auditorium, soft improved lighting, entire theatre newly carpeted, modern rest rooms, luxurious foyer, [and] refrigerated air conditioning for summer comfort." A photograph of the renovated 1956 Grand Foyer currently graces the walls of the Michigan.

In the News ad, Michigan manager Jerry Hoag noted that visitors had been guided on catwalks among scaffolding to see movies: "The pleasures they (moviegoers) received from the pictures, even under these rugged conditions, more than repaid the Michigan staff and myself for the inconvenience of keeping the theatre going." Ken MacDonald of radio station WPAG interviewed Opening Night visitors, who enjoyed Alec Guinness in The Ladykillers and a film about University of Michigan football, The Tradition That is Michigan.

The marquee of the Redford was bursting with pride as Deborah Kerr and William Holden starred in The Proud and the Profane, and Robert Ryan and Virginia Mayo appeared in The Proud Ones. Patrons also pounded the pavement to see 23 Paces to Baker Street (Van Johnson) and Crime in the Streets ("The Whole Story of the Rock and Roll Generation"). Earning weeklong runs at the Redford this month were big hits from the previous winter (Guys and Dolls) and summer (Trapeze).

Detroit fans of art film visited the World and Studio theaters to see Madame Butterfly (1954) and French comedian Fernandel in The Return of Don Camillo (1953). Britain's answer to Marilyn Monroe—Diana Dors—appeared at the Surf and Coronet in A Kid for Two Farthings (1955). The Krim hosted a delightful double feature of Leslie Caron in Lili (1953) and the ballet classic The Red Shoes (1948).

The Krim also scored a big coup on September 18, 1956 with the Detroit premiere of the Van Gogh biography Lust for Life, with Kirk Douglas. On September 26, War and Peace opened to critical and popular acclaim at the Michigan in Detroit.


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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 September 14, 2014.

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

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