I had heard of the the theater (theatre?) before, and knew it was supposed to be a restored treasure. I didn't realize just how wonderful it is inside.
The theatre's (theater's?) own website has some very nice photos on it, and I took a few as well that are featured later on this page. No photos can do justice what it's really like inside.
And cheap snacks!
My large pop, small (real-buttered) popcorn and candy came to a total of four dollars. Four!
And waiting in line for snacks was a nice experience, as I found myself surrounded by movie lovers of all ages. The father & son in front of me discussed superheroes while we waited.
There were a lot of families here. It was nice to see, but I felt a little bad for any kids who were sold on this movie experience being anything like Star Wars. It's a little slower and quieter than that.
OK, a lot slower.
We could hear the vintage organ throughout the theater. The Star-Spangled Banner was played while I was in line, and I could see people in the theatre standing and singing.
Exploring the theatre, opened in 1928, there were so many little details to absorb. The Men's room was indicated by a "Men's Lounge" sign. There was a small glass case off to the side featuring some fun books and toys that evoked the era from the day's featured movie.
When I saw the case, it finally hit me: I was in the company of People Who Cared About Movies.
I was forming all of these thoughts when I looked to my right and realized that there was a balcony. So I went up and walked right to the front.
When you visit the theatre, take time to explore the balcony, even if you don't sit there. It's the best view of the whole room. Pictures on the theatre's website are very nice, but they do not capture the bright, rich, vibrant colors all around. It took my breath away.
I took what pictures I could, but even my own snaps don't really give you the full effect. I tried taking a few shots of the ceiling, with its little pin-points of starlight set into a rich, blue sky. None of them came out very well in such low-light conditions.
The organ music was very nice, with songs performed mostly from the Old Standards Songbook. Before the movie started, it was introduced by a nice gentleman wearing a hat, who's name I did not catch.
[He mentioned that Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet went on to star in the TV show Lost in Space. Welp, no. Different robot. But that's ok.]
[EDIT: Although, as Kevin notes below, he did appear on a couple of episodes of Lost in Space!]
In the introduction to the film it was mentioned that the organ player was only sixteen years old. I thought he was making a funny, but it was true! Justin LaVoie is just sixteen years old! And he's great!
Here he is performing Michael McDonald 's Sweet Freedom during intermission.
I've reviewed the movie itself here. It's one of my favorites, so it was a blast seeing it in CinemaScope for the first time.
As is the case with most vintage theatres, the seats are not modern, and therefore uncomfortable. The main floor seats had slightly more legroom than the balcony.
I am all about keeping things "real", but I think this would be the be one thing that I would go ahead and modernize. You want people to be comfortable as they visit your time machine theatre. They'll come back more often! Gone With the Wind is playing in March, but there's no way my back will make it through nearly four hours (plus intermission).
I imagine that this is a debate that happens in the conference rooms of old movie-houses all over the country.
The Redford Theatre shows movies just about every other weekend (not often enough for me). I've never seen "Charade", which is up next, followed by the "The Apartment", which is great.
Check out the schedule today, and make a plan to visit the Redford Theatre! The staff was friendly and excited. The vibe is all positive. The patrons of this theatre are movie lovers and you can feel it.
Eight bucks for a full afternoon of entertainment.
Plus, free parking!
It's a great time for the whole family at a great price!