Detroit Film Theater to reopen October 15 after 19-month closure

The big screen of the Detroit Film Theater is back.

The theater, located inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, will reopen on October 15 after being closed for 19 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The film that kicks off the fall 2021 season is a documentary about influential psych-rock band Velvet Underground, directed by Todd Haynes (“Far From Heaven”, “I’m Not There”, “Carol”).

There will be four screenings over three days, starting with a 7 p.m. screening on October 15.

Tickets for the fall season are on sale now.

Other highlights for this season include ‘On Broadway’ (premiering October 22-24), a fast-paced, live-theater documentary that was completed just before the pandemic shut down one of the world’s largest cultural institutions. from New York, and “The Macaluso Sisters” (screening November 26-28), a drama about five orphan sisters working for a living in 1980s Sicily.

Moe Tucker, John Cale, Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed in archival photographs featured in

Starting in November, the Detroit Film Theater will make its family series on Saturday afternoons with mornings of animated films from around the world.

“We’re trying to show a sample of what cinema is like in the world right now,” says Elliot Wilhelm, longtime theater director and film curator for the DIA.

“It was a really difficult season to put together. There was a year and a half of movies that weren’t seen on screen, so it was much more difficult to narrow down the movies that are in that schedule.

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While the theater was closed to the public, it offered virtual screenings through its DFT @ Home program, showing a hundred films in 19 months.

Some of that virtual programming will stay in place, says Wilhelm.

As with many cultural institutions reopening to the public, new COVID-19 protocols will be put in place for clients of the Detroit Film Theater.

Guests will be required to present photo ID and proof of vaccination for each screening. A mask will be mandatory to enter the room and must be worn throughout each screening.

The theater, built in 1927, can accommodate up to 1,050 seats, but seats will be limited to 300 for each event.

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