Detroit's Redford Theatre has championed creative programming for their patrons for years. In addition to enabling participation in the creation, understanding, and appreciation of the arts in the historically preserved theatre, the Motor City Theatre Organ Society (the group that runs the Redford) is dedicated to the preservation, use, understanding, and enjoyment of the theatre pipe organ. The Redford's Barton Theatre Pipe Organ was installed for the opening of the theatre in 1928, and it's still played at the beginning of shows today! (Photo courtesy of the Redford Theatre)
Detroit's Redford Theatre has championed creative programming for their patrons for years. In addition to enabling participation in the creation, understanding, and appreciation of the arts in the historically preserved theatre, the Motor City Theatre Organ Society (the group that runs the Redford) is dedicated to the preservation, use, understanding, and enjoyment of the theatre pipe organ. The Redford's Barton Theatre Pipe Organ was installed for the opening of the theatre in 1928, and it's still played at the beginning of shows today! (Photo courtesy of the Redford Theatre)

Michigan’s movie theaters are providing film fans with creative offerings on- and offline during the pandemic, and they need your support to keep ’em coming.

MICHIGAN — Michigan’s movie theaters may still be closed as a necessary safety measure, but that’s not stopping ’Ganders from trying to bring a little bit of real movie magic to their home setups. As the folks over at Three Oaks’ Vickers Theater say, in these surreal times, not only do local theaters need support, but we all need the sense of comfort and unity great films can provide. 

From livestreams to drive-ins to curbside concession pickups, Michigan’s movie theaters are pulling out all the stops to deliver some cinematic ceremony during the coronavirus.

And their efforts are connecting people with the classics, cartoons, new releases — and each other. Detroit’s Redford Theatre has been streaming material in the public domain on their Facebook page since the beginning of the pandemic. In early May, livestream organizers had a very special request from one young movie fan.

We've had a request. Oscar, a young man from Livonia who goes to St. Michael's, has donated part of his birthday money…

Posted by Redford Theatre on Thursday, May 7, 2020

“Oscar, a young man from Livonia who goes to St. Michael’s, has donated part of his birthday money to the Redford,” read a post on the theater’s Facebook page. “He also asked if we can show some cartoons. Of course we said yes! This Saturday, one time only, you can see Popeye, Woody Woodpecker, and the Pink Panther right here on our Facebook page … So grab the kids, a big bowl of cereal, and cuddle up on the couch for a morning of laughs. Thanks to Oscar and his Mom.” 

Catch the Redford’s original Saturday Morning Cartoon stream here: 

Saturday Morning Cartoons Watch Party

Corney Concert

Posted by Redford Theatre on Saturday, May 9, 2020

Oscar’s request for cartoons from Redford Theatre resonated with families of movie fans across Michigan and beyond.  

This is why I volunteer at the Redford…Recently, after our Saturday Cartoon Watch party, a viewer named Rhonda sent me…

Posted by Redford Theatre on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

“This is why I volunteer at the Redford,” read a May 20 post on the theater’s Facebook page. “Recently, after our Saturday Cartoon Watch party, a viewer named Rhonda sent me a message. She told me that her son is serving in the military and stationed overseas. You can imagine how much his parents miss him and how much he worries about them right now. During the Watch Party he was able to log into Facebook and watch cartoons with his dad. Being able to share this experience was a very special one for everyone.

“I started these Watch Parties because I missed all of you and I imagined that you all missed the theatre and our special community, too. Hopefully, we’ll all get a chance to go again soon, maybe appreciating the experience and each other just a bit more.

Please know that these Watch Parties are not so much about the film, or how many views we get — it’s about making the connection with all of you.”

The May Saturday Morning Cartoon Watch Party was meant to be a one-off, but it was such a hit that Oscar was invited to introduce a second stream in June in front of the Redford’s red velvet curtains. 

Welcome to our Saturday Morning Cartoon Watch Party

Grab your Captain Crunch and settle in for a morning of cartoons!

Posted by Redford Theatre on Saturday, June 27, 2020

“I hope that you can donate to the Redford Theatre,” Oscar said after introducing a lineup of Superman, Tom & Jerry, Pink Panther, Bugs Bunny, Popeye, and a Betty Boop special. “I know that I will be donating five dollars so that we can keep on seeing lovely shows and cartoons here.” (You can donate to the Redford Theatre here.)

So if you, like Oscar, are counting the days ‘til you’re back in a theater with a bucket of popcorn on your lap, here are some ways you can get a taste of the movie magic now while supporting your local theaters through the pandemic. 

Free Classic Movie Livestreams

The Redford Theatre | Detroit 

The Senate Theater | Detroit

MORE TO TUNE IN TO: The Detroit Tigers’ 2020 Season Is Starting: Here’s How to Watch and Listen

‘Virtual Cinemas’: New Movies Streaming for Purchase

The Michigan Theater | Ann Arbor

Cinema Detroit | Detroit

Farmington Civic Theater | Farmington

Vickers Theatre | Three Oaks

Capri Drive-In is currently open at 50% capacity, with vehicles allowed to park in every other space. The other COVID-19 safety protocols they have in place are listed on their Facebook page. (Photo via Facebook)

Drive-Ins

5 Mile Drive-In | Dowagiac

Canterbury Drive-In | Lake Orion

Capri Drive-In | Coldwater

Cherry Bowl Drive-In | Honor

Ford Drive-In | Dearborn

Sunset Cinema at Studio Park | Grand Rapids — Less a drive-in, more a picnic: Movies al fresco in the piazza at Studio Park, located in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

Curbside Concessions

You can check to see if your local theater is popping up any fresh popcorn before getting into a classic movie binge courtesy the Redford, the new John Lewis doc via Cinema Detroit, or one of this week’s new films from the Michigan Theater. Many theaters around the state are offering popcorn, candy, and other concessions (and even some merch) through curbside pickup to satisfy sweet and salty cravings sure to hit during the opening credits. 

MORE TO-GO FUN: Michigan’s Cocktails-to-Go and Social Drinking Districts: What to Expect

A couple theater chains around Michigan are still selling concessions too. Here’s where you’re sure to find the good stuff:

NCG Cinemas

Alma 

Coldwater 

Grand Blanc 

Greenville

Lansing 

Owosso

Emagine Cinemas

Birch Run

Canton

Hartland

Macomb

Novi

Palladium

Rochester Hills

Royal Oak

Saline