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50¢ Movies at Detroit Institute of Arts Right on Time for Summer Fun Detroit Film Theatre sponsored by JPMorganChase offers classic comedies at classic prices

Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18, 2009 (Detroit)—To open its summer season, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Detroit Film Theatre (DFT) is offering its own special stimulus package for comedy lovers. On Friday–Sunday, June 12–14, the DFT will feature a mini-festival of great comedies, including Charlie Chaplin masterpieces Modern Times (1936) and City Lights (1931), and Buster Keaton’s Seven Chances and Sherlock Jr. To make this much-needed comic relief accessible to almost everyone, tickets are just 50¢ each.

“We really wanted to offer something fun and affordable for metro Detroiters,” said Elliot Wilhelm, DFT programmer. “These are some of the best comedies ever made, and it’s especially fitting to experience them in a theater built in the same era in which they were made. And who can beat a ticket price of 50¢?”

Description and Schedule
Friday, June 12, 7 and 9:30 p.m.
Modern Times
(1936–directed by Charles Chaplin; 88 min.)
One of Charlie Chaplin’s most celebrated and beloved films—and the first movie in which his voice is heard—finds Chaplin out of work and discovering that making a living is no walk in the park. With his companion (Paulette Goddard), Chaplin tackles every adversity as he tries his best to maintain dignity while resisting the need to be a literal “cog in the machine.” One of Chaplin’s funniest and most enduring works features some of his greatest and most legendary comedy sequences, and a memorable musical score by Chaplin himself.

Saturday, June 13, 7 p.m. ONLY
Seven Chances and Sherlock Jr.
(101 min. total)
In his brilliant 1925 silent comedy Seven Chances, bachelor Buster Keaton learns that he’s in line to inherit seven million dollars, but only on one small condition: that he must be married by 7:00 today! How he sets out to accomplish this makes Seven Chances one of Keaton’s most hilarious films, and one of the most incredibly inventive achievements of the silent era.

For brilliant and innovative sight gags, perhaps the only film that equals Seven Chances is Keaton’s incredible 1924 Sherlock Jr., the surreal story of a movie theater projectionist turned amateur sleuth, who finds himself magically becoming a part of the films he projects. For sheer laughs-per-minute, this double feature is impossible to top.

Sunday, June 14, 2 and 4 p.m.
City Lights
(1931–directed by Charles Chaplin; 87 min.)
A tramp (Charlie Chaplin) encounters a lovely, blind flower-seller (Virginia Cherrill) on the streets of the city. She’s under the mistaken impression that he’s wealthy, and so he vows to not only keep his financial straits a secret, but to somehow find enough money to pay for the operation that might restore her sight. Chaplin’s sublime City Lights is one of the true masterpieces, and truly great experiences, in all cinema. As hilarious as it is touching, Chaplin’s never-dated comic genius is at its height in several legendary sequences; in fact, the film’s final scene was described by critic James Agee as “the highest moment in movies.”

Tickets are available at the door or at
These films are made possible in part by JPMorganChase, the exclusive sponsor of the Detroit Film Theatre.
For the complete DFT schedule, visit

Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for ages 6-17, and DIA members are admitted free. For membership information call 313-833-7971.


The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth.

Programs are made possible with support from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the City of Detroit.

Contact: Pamela Marcil 313-833-7899