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Detroit Arts & Culture

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Detroit is rich in art and culture and has world-renowned institutions to prove it. The city is also is home to dozens of smaller theatres, museums, and galleries displaying the work of up-and-coming local talent. The quantity and quality of what you will find here may come as a surprise, and it is precisely this unexpected cultural vibrancy that makes Detroit truly a diamond in the rough.

Detroit Cinema & Film

There are plenty of great movie theaters in the Detroit area to see the latest flicks. And you’ll find just about everything — first run Hollywood productions, independent and foreign films, documentaries, and even animation. To locate a quality theatre showing the first run stuff, search any of the conventional movie guides on the web. But for something a little different, check out the venues below. These theatres provide a more eclectic film selection, a unique movie-going experience, or both all at once!

Detroit Film Center

1227 Washington Boulevard, Detroit

An establishment for true movie afficionados and those that are just as interested in the filmmaking process as they are the final product. This non-profit media arts center provides education and resources to thousands of prospective filmmakers and artists and has enriched the community through ongoing screenings of important works of indpendent film and video.

Detroit Film Theatre

5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

The Detroit Film Theatre is located within the Detroit Institute of Arts, a centerpiece of the City’s Cultural Center and one of the finest museums in the country. It lays claim to one of America’s most comprehensive and acclaimed showcases of contemporary and classic world cinema. The DFT’s exquisite 1,150-seat auditorium is equipped to project all films in their correct aspect ratio exactly as their directors intended.

IMAX

The Henry Ford — 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn
Michigan Science Center — 5020 John R, Detroit

Crystal clear images on a screen eight stories wide and six stories tall and wrap-around digital surround sound make IMAX the ultimate movie experience. You’ll be amazed at the extraordinary visual clarity and sound quality and will be begging for more when the lights come back on. Detroit is fortunate to have two IMAX theatres in the area — The Henry Ford in Dearborn and the Michigan Science Center in the Cultural Center. IMAX is the perfect complement to the fantastic exhibits and overall themes of science and innovation upon which these museums are based.

Magic Bag Theatre

22920 Woodward Avenue, Ferndale

Just a couple of bucks are all you need for admission to this popular theatre built in 1921 in Fashionable Ferndale. Visit the Magic Bag for their Wednesday and Thursday night Brew ‘n’ Views and enjoy a cold beverage or cocktail as you watch the latest Hollywood films on the Magic Bag’s huge screen. If you dig the experience, come on back on weekends for live blues, alternative, and classic rock.

Main Art Theatre

118 North Main Street, Royal Oak

Originally built in 1940 with a single screen, The Main has evolved into a funky three screen movie house offering the Detroit area’s finest selection of independent film and foreign language cinema. Fittingly, the theatre is located in popular downtown Royal Oak which is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, galleries, and boutiques.

The Maple Theatre

4135 West Maple Road, Bloomfield Hills

The Maple has been a Detroit area mainstay of specialized film for years. It was the first theatre of its kind when it was built in 1974 and has steadfastly maintained its dedication to independent and foreign language cinema ever since. The theatre is located in upscale Bloomfield Hills and is a stone’s throw from the action in downtown Birmingham.

Cultural Center

There is no better place than here to explore Detroit’s intellectual and artistic influences. Development of the Cultural Center dates back to 1913 as part of the City Beautiful movement which advocated the clustering of important public buildings. Three buildings make up the core of the Cultural Center — the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Horace H. Rackham Education Memorial Building. Since the establishment of these architectural monuments, the Cultural Center has expanded to include a number of other museums, galleries, theatres, and attractions, most within walking distance of one another.

In addition, the area is home to two highly regarded educational institutions, Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies. The Cultural Center’s location two miles north of downtown along Woodward Avenue makes it a convenient, must-see destination for visitors.

Your best bet is to park your car and visit each attraction on foot. Parking is available at the public garage located at 41 Farnsworth (enter the facility between Woodward and John R). Free on-street parking and metered on-street parking are also available.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

315 East Warren, Detroit

Dr. Charles Wright, a Detroit obstetrician and gynecologist, established the City’s first International Afro-American Musuem in 1965. Three decades and three addresses later, a new Museum of African American History was opened in the heart of the Cultural Center. The 120,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is considered one of the largest Africal-American history museums in the world. The buidling house a core exhibition called And Still We Rise which takes visitors on a journey through 3.5 million years of courage, deterimination, ingenuity, and spriitual energy of African Americans as they pursued emancipation and full rights of citizenship. In addition to And Still We Rise, the museum showcases a number of other interesting, limited-run exhibitions.

Detroit Historical Museum

5401 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

Your exploration into Detroit’s and southeastern Michigan’s rich history begins at the Detroit Historical Museum. The museum traces the region through over 300 years of history through a number of creative displays. Of particular interest is the 8,000 square foot Motor City exhibition focused on Automotive Heritage and featuring an actual working auto body drop from the General Motors Clark Avenue facility.

Detroit Institute of Arts

5200 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

The DIA has been a hallmark of Detroit culture since its founding in 1885. The museum covers over 600,000 square feet and houses one of the largest and most diverse collections of multicultural art in the United States, including the priceless Vincent van Gogh Self Portrait and the masterpiece sculpture Nail Figure from Zaire. To top it off, visitors are treated to Mexican artist Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry fresco cycle, considered Rivera’s most important work in the U.S. Rivera painted 27 fresco panels, many of them modeled after the Ford Rouge Plant, on the walls of the large garden court inside the DIA.

Detroit Public Library

5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit

The Detroit Public Library is the largest library system in the State of Michigan. The Main Library and its 23 neighborhood branches make it one of the most valuable and accessible public institutions in Metropolitan Detroit. The Public Library had been located in two other places before it moved into its current home in 1921. Its architect was Cass Gilbert, noted for the Minnesota State Capitol and the Woolworth Building, who wanted his building to “create an environment of scholarship and refinement.” Gilbert designed the library in Italian Renaissance style, facing its exterior with white marble and having interior spaces decorated with murals, tiles and mosaics. In 1963 the library gained extra space with an austere rear addition.

Michigan Science Center

5020 John R, Detroit

In the early 1970s, Detroit banker and philanthropist Dexter Ferry believed Detroit’s youth lacked the same learning opportunities available in other major cities and led efforts to establish a major science center in the City. Construction on the original science center began in 1976 and a major renovation and expansion was completed in 2001.

Today’s Michigan Science Center encompasses over 110,000 square feet and offers Michigan’s only IMAX Dome Theatre, a state-of-the-art digital planetarium, and multiple exhibit laboratories and learning environments. The Michigan Science Center is the perfect family venue that both educates and entertains.

Wayne State University

Vicinity of Cass Avenue and Putnam Street, Detroit

Wayne State University is Michigan’s only urban research university, with 11 schools and colleges offering more than 350 major subject areas to 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The Wayne State campus encompasses 203 acres of beautifully landscaped walkways and gathering spots, linking 100 education and research buildings. Of particular note is the university’s Department of Theatre which stakes claim to Detroit’s oldest noncommercial theatre and operates three performance venues in the Cultural Center area. Each year the Bonstelle, Hillberry, and Studio Theatres play to the second largest audience in Michigan, behind only that of the Fisher Theatre.

Food & Drink


Ethnic Neighborhoods

Restaurants

Wine Tour

Detroit is a melting pot of ethnicities offering a bonanza of food and drink options. Might want to hold off on that diet!

Arts & Culture

Detroit is rich in art and culture and has world-renowned institutions to prove it. The city is also is home to dozens of smaller theatres, museums, and galleries displaying the work of up-and-coming local talent. The quantity and quality of what you will find here may come as a surprise, and it is precisely this unexpected cultural vibrancy that makes Detroit truly a diamond in the rough.


Cinema & Film

Cultural Center

Food & Drink

Galleries

Museums

Music

Theatres

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