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.