One of the most exciting things about blogging for me is all the emails I get with story ideas. I received an email this morning and all it had in it was a link. I usually don't click on strange links (not a good idea). But what hacker would know about the Redford Theater? So I braved it out and checked out the Redford Theater site.
A wave of retro joy enveloped me! I haven't been to this theater since the 70's. What a relief to discover that it is a non profit organization now and they are showing retro family fare for the new generations. The theater has been restored and is it gorgeous? So I did a little research on the Redford.
The Redford Theatre opened on January 27, 1928 as a neighborhood movie house. It was billed as "America's Most Unique Suburban Playhouse." The theatre, with its three story grand foyer and full-size stage, has been in continuous operation ever since. This was fortunate, since it enabled the Redford and its theater organ to escape the ravages of neglect that resulted in the destruction of many movie palaces.
Silent films were still being produced when the plans were made for the theater, so a Barton Theatre organ was installed as the theatre was being built.
The theatre was designed with a Japanese motif. That design included appropriate decorations on the organ console.
During World War II, much of the Japanese-style decoration was removed, painted over or covered up.
Redford Theater's original pipe organ was used less and less frequently. Eventually heavy draperies were hung over the organ grillework.
The Motor City Theater Organ Society became interested in the Redford Theater because, while many pipe organs had been removed from theaters, the Redford's instrument remained intact. The Redford Theater and the Fox Theater are now the only two theaters with their original theater organs in the metro Detroit area.
The non-profit Motor City Theater Organ Society owns and operates the Redford Theatre at 17360 Lahser Road, Detroit, MI 48219. Enjoy the classic film series, organ concerts or your special event, enhanced by this beautifully restored setting.
The Redford Theatre is operated by an all-volunteer staff. Proceeds from programs presented at the Redford are used to restore and maintain the theater building. The Motor City Theatre Organ Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. The Redford Theatre 17360 Lahser Road Detroit, MI 48219
We have to support this type of entertainment for the future generations. There are so many kids that will never know what it was like to see a film on a really big screen, not some cubicle screen in multiplex. Yes the multiplexes are convenient but the have no ambiance at all.
January 28 and 29 - Arsenic and Old Lace - $4.00 PLUS the Columbia cartoon "Willoughby's Magic Hat" This film a light hearted romp with Kimmer favorites Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
February 11 and 12 - Roman Holiday - $4.00
Sponsored by DetroitMoviePalaces.com
The Redford Theater Events Website
My Dad and my brother played the pipe organ there. My Mom used to work the candy/popcorn counter during the movies. When they remodeled, I think a seat was donated in my Dad's name down in front.
It is wonderfully restored and they have live organ music is a must go to place!
I have never been to the Redford Theater, but after reading your blog I will put it on my "list" for a future trip to Michigan! Thanks!
WoW! You did a great job of covering the Redford Theatre's history and backstory and promoting it's current activities. I forgot to post the Redford's web site in my email about Mary Badham appearance so I'm the one who posted the link to it. The theatre is completely renovated/refurbished except for replacement of the carpeting in the lobby. I'm not sure what the plans are past that. Thanks for spreading the word, Kim. You're the best. DV
Thanks for your page about the Redford Theatre. The restoration of the theatre has been accomplished almost completely by volunteer labor. Our philosophy has been to save up for a project before beginning it. That way, no money is wasted paying interest, every dollar goes into the project. All of our funding comes from ticket sales for our programs and individual donations. We have no corporate support.
Several projects are lined up after the carpet project is complete. These include finishing the seat replacement in the balcony and restoring the marquee.
If you have never been to the Redford, we welcome you to experience movies presented in an authentic movie palace environment.
PLEASE ATTEND TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD..COME SEE THIS CLASSIC FILM IN OUR HISTORIC THEATER. WE ARE ALSO PRESENTING THE ACTRESS THAT PLAYED "SCOUT" MARY BADHAM AT ALL THREE PERFORMANCES. SHE WILL TALK ABOUT HER MEMORIES OF THE FILM, AND HER FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE LATE GREGORY PECK AND THE INCREDIBLE AUTHOR, HARPER LEE. ALL FOR $5.00 PLEASE SEE OUR WEBSITE FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
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