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The Film Programs of the Detroit Film Theatre, Michigan Theater, and Redford Theatre

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Looking Back

October 1961

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in October 1961. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

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


Breakfast at Tiffany's opened in Detroit at the Madison Theater on Friday, October 20, 1961. It earlier opened in New York City at the Radio City Music Hall on October 5, 1961.

"Audrey Hepburn's slender shoulders carry nearly the full burden of 'Breakfast at Tiffany's,' film version of Truman Capote's novella about the life and loves of a transplanted Texas girl in Manhattan," wrote Al Weitschat in The Detroit News on October 20, 1961. "This is sophisticated comedy on the thin side and it buzzes along as lightly as a feather."

" 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' opened at the Madison Theater Friday as a movie which bears no resemblance to the great Truman Capote story by the same name," wrote Louis Cook in the October 21, 1961 edition of the Detroit Free Press. "But don't go away. One assumes that Capote gets a pleasant piece of change for selling a book to the movies of which only the name is used."

At the Madison, Breakfast at Tiffany's followed a run of Walt Disney's Greyfriars Bobby (Donald Crisp, Kay Walsh). Also with Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Madison was the cartoon Abner the Baseball.

Other downtown Detroit movies when Breakfast at Tiffany's opened were The Devil at Four O'Clock (Frank Sinatra, Spencer Tracy) at the Grand Circus; The Hustler (Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason) at the Fox; Splendor in the Grass (Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty) at the Michigan; The Guns of Navarone (Gregory Peck, David Niven, Anthony Quinn) at the United Artists; the Italian Rocco and His Brothers at the Adams; and a dynamic double bill of Teenage Millionaire and The Explosive Generation at the Palms.

The Music Hall was showing Windjammer, which was produced in one wide screen process (Cinemiracle) and presented in another (Cinerama).

The Redford was screening a double bill of The Honeymoon Machine (Steve McQueen, Brigid Bazlen) and Gidget Goes Hawaiian (James Darren, Michael Callan, Deborah Walley). The Mercury was presenting the midwest premiere of Paris Blues (Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier).

Art films included Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni) at the Krim; Never On Sunday (Melina Mercouri) at the Studio; and Jean Renoir's Picnic on the Grass at the Surf. At the East Side Drive-In, you could hook up a free electric in-car heater and see a twin bill of Fanny (Leslie Caron, Horst Buchholz) and The Wackiest Ship in the Army (Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson).

Breakfast at Tiffany's played at the Madison for two months until December 19, 1961, before being replaced with Walt Disney's Babes in Toyland (Ray Bolger, Tommy Sands, "Annette").

The second run of Breakfast at Tiffany's immediately began on December 20, 1961, when it opened at the Redford and other Detroit area theaters and drive-ins. It played a Christmas week engagement at the Redford with Scream of Fear (Susan Strasberg) until December 26, 1961, before being replaced by Blue Hawaii with Elvis Presley.

Ann Arbor audiences were treated to the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the Michigan Theater on Friday, November 3, 1961, after a run of Back Street (Susan Hayward, John Gavin). Breakfast at Tiffany's played at the Michigan until November 15, 1961, and was followed by Town Without Pity (Kirk Douglas).

Also playing in Ann Arbor on November 3, 1961 were Splendor in the Grass (Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty) at the State; La Dolce Vita (Anita Ekberg, Marcello Mastroianni) at the Campus; and at the Ypsi-Ann Drive-In: Angel Baby; Inherit the Wind (Spencer Tracy, Fredric March); and Shotgun (Sterling Hayden, Yvonne De Carlo).

PDF of newspaper images relating to the opening of Breakfast at Tiffany's.

 


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Website copyright © 2017 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated November 19, 2017.

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