Detroit has been touched by the world of cinema in more ways than one. Though they did not grow up here, Francis Ford Coppola and Tom Selleck were born in Detroit. Some truly magnificent theaters such as The Royal Theatre and Empire Theatre used to unveil the movies of the moment to eager audiences. There are fewer remnants of these traditional theaters across the city, no matter, today’s cinemas in Detroit provide contemporary comfort.
From the almost too comfortable seating at MJR cinemas to Redford Theatre’s Japanese-style decor to a drive-in cinema inducing serious cases of nostalgia, going to the movies in Detroit can be a memorable experience before you even see the film. Secret Detroit has compiled a list of some picture houses to keep in mind when planning your next movie night.
1. Detroit Film Theatre
Travel back in time in this vintage 1927 auditorium at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Since 1974, the Detroit Film Theatre has been screening thousands of classic and debut films. Cleverly intertwining the subject of exhibitions at the museum with related films, the DFT hosts themed programs. This interplay of history and cinema provides the perfect place to for discovery and inspiration.
📍5200 John R St, Detroit
2. Bel Air Luxury Cinema
Bel Air Luxury Cinema was not always so luxurious, in a modern sense that is. It is built on the site of the Bel Air Drive-In which started with a car capacity for 1,800 and one big screen. After the drive-in cinema closed in 1986, major construction work began. By 1988, Bel Air Luxury Cinema was opened by AMC. Thanks to more renovations in 2016, cinemagoers can expect to find high back rockers, recliners, and an impressive, custom-made chandelier.
📍10100 8 Mile Rd, Detroit
3. Redford Theatre
Once revered as “America’s Most Unique Suburban Playhouse”, The Redford Theatre opened in 1928. Known for its unique decoration and Barto organ, this architectural gem has stood the test of time. A continuous effort has been made over the years to maintain the theater’s original infrastructure. Not only can you catch silent films and classics like Ben-Hur, but you can also experience our captivating Candlelight concerts.
📍17360 Lahser Rd, Detroit
4. Ford Wyoming Drive-In
There is something really special about pulling up in your car to watch a film al fresco. Although an indoor theater is a communal experience too, sharing in the novelty of a drive-in cinema takes it to new heights. Ford Wyoming Drive-In used to boast nine screens and a capacity for 3,000 cars making it the largest drive-in cinema in the world. Today, it is reduced in size with five screens. Located in Dearborn, this drive-in cinema screens the latest films and has a menu offering American classics.
📍10400 Ford Rd, Dearborn
5. Emagine Cinemas
Cinemas powered by Emagine Entertainment are affiliated with the title “Best Theater to See a First Run Movie”, named by Hour Detroit Magazine for 9 consecutive years. The first to introduce 4K projection to the Detroit market, Emagine focuses on providing world-class cinema experiences. You can enjoy leather, power-reclining seats, huge screens, and ordering dinner right from your seat at Emagine theatres like Emagine Royal Oak. You can also see a movie at Monroe Street Drive-In powered by Emagine.
📍200 N Main St, Royal Oak 📍32 Monroe St, Detroit
6. MJR Cinemas
Anyone who has been to an MJR cinema will be familiar with their catchy trailer promoting the slogan, “It’s More Fun at MJR”. Since beginning in the 1980s, MJR has developed more and more Multiplex Cinemas, including Universal Grand Cinema, Southgate Cinema, and Troy Grand Cinema. The EPIC Experience at Troy Grand Cinema includes one of the largest screens in Michigan. For state-of-the-art features and comfort, MJR cinemas across Detroit have it all.
7. AMC Cinemas
There are several AMC theatres across detroit, such as Forum, Star Gratiot, and Star Great Lakes. Programming includes AMC Artisan Films, fan favorites, international films, film festivals, and sensory-friendly films. Settle in to watch the latest release on either spacious rocking seats or luxury recliners, and order from innovative menus. Get even more from your AMC cinema with discounted tickets!