Secret Cinema at the Maple Theater

What would you say if you found out that, for a week, a theater near you would be playing one classic film a night?  Pretty great, right?  But wait, there’s more!  Not only will there be a classic film a night, but tickets are only $5 and popcorn is free!  And not some small token amount of popcorn, either.  They mean you get a free full large-sized order of popcorn.  Considering that nowadays a small popcorn alone can set you back $5, you might start to wonder if there’s some kind of catch here.  Well, at the Maple Theater in Bloomfield Hills, MI, there is one little twist: you don’t find out which movie you’re going to see until the movie starts playing.

Secret Cinema is a new series the Maple is trying out and I, for one, think it’s a really clever and fun idea.  After this week, the theater will be temporarily closing to do some renovations, so this is sort of their “See You Later” party.  All of the movies this week were chosen from the AFI’s Top 100 list, and while that list always starts plenty of debates, there are lots of movies on it that any classic film fan would be happy to see on the big screen.  The idea of going to a theater knowing you could just as easily be seeing All About Eve as you could be Sunrise or Duck Soup is a lot of fun as long as you have an open mind.  When I went, I got to see The Godfather, so it was certainly worth the $5.

This is a concept I’d love to see catch on not just at the Maple, but maybe other theaters could do this too.  The AFI list theme is great, but I could easily see this being done with horror films in October, Christmas movies in December, or Best Picture winners during Oscar season.  And hey, this is the perfect solution for when you want to go see a movie with a bunch of friends, but nobody can agree on what to see.

Does anyone know of any other theaters doing something like this?  If you happen to be in the Detroit area, this series runs through July 22nd.  There are plans to continue Secret Cinema after the renovations are completed, so be sure to check their website or their Facebook page for more information about Secret Cinema as well as their regular schedules.

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6 comments

  1. I love this idea and wish I’d been able to make it out to a showing! The week was just too hectic. I would also love to see it catch on at other theaters, or to see the Maple continue it once they re-open.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean, I’ve had a little bit of a busy week too so I’ve only been able to go once so far. Plus 7:00 PM on a weekday is kind of an awkward time for me. But it seems like the new owner of the Maple has some excellent ideas for the theater, so I’m wishing them the best because I like the direction they’re headed in.

      1. Agreed. The new owner seems to be full of wonderful ideas. There are quite a few great theaters in southeastern Michigan, but I can see the Maple becoming one of the best (and most popular) if they keep offering unique experiences for the audience. I’m excited to see what else they come up with in the future!

        1. I absolutely agree. The renovations alone should help a lot with that.

          When it was owned by Landmark, it seemed like they put much more effort into the Main than they did the Maple. The Maple never seemed to have anything special like the Midnight Madness series and any time directors or actors made appearances with movies, it was always at the Main. I never even went to the Maple until The Artist came out and they had it before any place else nearby. I’m very happy that it’s now in the hands of someone who really sees the potential the Maple has.

    1. I just came back from tonight’s edition and tonight we got to see my favorite movie of all time, E.T.! Before the movie started, it was really interesting to listen to other people in the audience speculating about which movie they thought it would be and what they were hoping for. Even though they do leak hints in a couple of ways, most people were completely clueless and were dying to find out which movie it was.

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