September 25, 2020
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NEW on Virtual Cinema Detroit – starting Friday, Sept. 25
Pre-order NATIVE SON now

One of the most controversial novels of its day, Richard Wright's NATIVE SON (first published in 1940) exposed the injustices of urban African American life, witnessed through the eyes of Bigger Thomas, whose violent tendencies and moral confusion were the inevitable result of generations of institutionalized racism. In prison for murder and sentenced to death, Thomas reflects on the circumstances that led to his fate.

The film version, which starred the author as his own character, was heavily censored in the US by local and regional censor boards. This new version is constructed from two separate elements and is the most complete version ever shown in the US.

At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But the unique personal journey of her rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG explores Ginsburg's life and career.

This purchase to OWN the film, not rent, and includes a recorded Q & A with the film's directors.
Own RBG the doc now
Official Selection - Fantasia Fest
Starting Friday, Oct. 02

Horror queen Brea Grant ventures behind the camera for her writing/directing debut, horror-comedy 12 HOUR SHIFT.

Nurse Mandy (Angela Bettis) is desperate to make it through her double shift without incident. This is particularly hard to do when you’re an addict and are also involved in a black market organ-trading scheme. When her hapless but dangerous cousin Regina (Chloe Farnworth) messes up a kidney delivery, chaos descends on the Arkansas hospital as Mandy and Regina frantically try to secure a replacement organ.
Online Oct. 8-11

The Better Cities Film Festival seeks to cultivate and curate the best films about people making their city a better place. This year's festival features online screenings and events with more categories and more films from more places all over the world.

A portion of each ticket purchased goes to Cinema Detroit.

Additionally, each filmmaker receives a portion of the ticket revenue for screenings of their work.
NOW SHOWING on Virtual Cinema Detroit
(Click on title to purchase or scroll for info)
Wild Daze
Ghost Tropic
Feels Good Man
Vinyl Nation
Martin Margiela: Own Words
Our Time Machine
Mr. Soul!
Made in Bangladesh
My Dog Stupid
John Lewis: Good Trouble
The fact that the well-being of humans and wildlife are inextricably linked has never been more obvious than during the COVID-19 pandemic. With our world under lockdown, we are all experiencing the worrisome connection between overdevelopment and deforestation and human disease and pandemics.

The new documentary WILD DAZE wades through murky and complex corruption to expose how human activity takes a huge toll on the wild, and how that destruction destroys us. Part nature documentary, part transnational crime journalism, part action thriller, WILD DAZE breaks hearts, engages and amazes, educates and alarms. Set in Sub-Saharan Africa, and including interviews with Jane Goodall, Koko the Gorilla, activists, naturalists, conservationists, veterinarians, diplomats, and, yes, poachers and trophy hunters, this compelling documentary shows the unvarnished truth about the battle between our desire to control nature and our need to save the wild. ​
Watch WILD DAZE now
Khadija (Saadia Bentaïeb) is a
58-year-old Maghrebi cleaning woman living in Brussels. After work one night, she falls asleep on the last subway train, wakes up at the end of the line and has no choice but to make her way home — all the way across the city — on foot. 

It's a story of solitude and hope, and a film with a deep faith in the enduring power of human connection even --and maybe especially -- in dark moments.
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Director's Fortnight – Cannes Film Festival

New York Times Critic's Pick:
"...beguiles and fascinates on several levels....'Everybody needs a place to rest,' Bruce Springsteen sings in one of his 1980s hits. This movie is a strong depiction of people who’ve richly earned such a place."
Pre-order GHOST TROPIC now
When Matt Furie first created Pepe the Frog, the character was a chill frog dude. Then, through a series of unforeseen events and bizarre connections driven by the internet, Pepe became the far right's symbol of hate.

How that exactly happened is a wild journey into the heart of online life today and the memeification of our collective culture, where the meanings of images change moment to moment and cannot be controlled, even by their creators.

FEELS GOOD MAN shows us how a character meant to provide joy and fun can slowly morph into something else—but just maybe can change again.

Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award
Emerging Filmmaker

“We're left in awe at everything the story of Pepe encompasses…FEELS GOOD MAN proves Pepe can still be a force for good — among other things by helping us, through stories like these, to better understand the world we live in.” — Mashable
----> MADE IN BANGLADESH — Twenty-three-year-old Shimu works in a clothing factory in Bangladesh. Faced with inhumane conditions at work, she decides to start a union with her co-workers. Despite threats from the management and disapproval from her husband, Shimu and the other women are determined to find a way to improve their lives.

100% FRESH on Rotten Tomatoes

"As a look behind that T-shirt you just bought on sale for $9.99 at The Gap, and the human labor, sweat and suffering that went into it, this... definitely deserves wider attention.." ~ Hollywood Reporter
----> Directed by Christopher Boone and Michigan native Kevin Smokler, the documentary VINYL NATION digs into the crates of the record resurgence in search of truths set in deep wax: Has the return of vinyl made music fandom more inclusive or divided? What does vinyl say about our past here in the present? How has the second life of vinyl changed how we hear music and how we listen to each other?
100% on Rotten Tomatoes

"As so many things have become passive or have slipped away from us entirely, VINYL NATION shows why sometimes you just want something to hold onto." – Detroit News - Grade A-  
In the late '60s and early '70s, the public television talk show SOUL! was an unfiltered, uncompromising celebration of Black literature, poetry, music, and politics. Unlikely host/producer Ellis Haizlip became a cultural arbiter, offering positive images of Black people at a time when poverty and violence were the dominant narrative. Click here to watch the acclaimed doc MR SOUL!
Watch MR. SOUL now
My Dog Stupid (Mon chien Stupide)
When burned-out author Henri insists on keeping a dog he found in the garden, his life and that of his long-suffering wife and their indifferent adult children begin to change in major ways. A refreshingly unsentimental and very often hilarious look at family and marriage. The husband and wife are played by real-life couple Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg.
Note: No animals were harmed in the making of this film. 
Martin Margiela: In His Own Words
Designer MARTIN MARGIELA never showed his face and avoided interviews, letting his couture collections do the talking...until now.

IN HIS OWN WORDS reveals his vision and process like never before...anyone who is interested in creativity and inspiration will love this doc. 
From marching with Martin Luther King, Jr. and helping to get the Civil Rights Act passed, to being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and continuing to speak truth to power and fight against injustices like voter suppression, U.S. Rep. John Lewis is still getting into plenty of GOOD TROUBLE. This new doc chronicles the life and times of one of the most respected public figures in the world.

Your ticket includes a pre-recorded discussion between Rep. Lewis and Oprah Winfrey, which Immediately follows the feature.
This was filmed last month and is available exclusively
for virtual cinema and in-theater engagements ONLY. 

Time to get HAPPY ---->
Virtual Cinema Detroit 101
Virtual Cinema Detroit is a way for us to keep presenting films, even when our doors are temporarily closed. When you purchase a ticket to one of these independent films, which are unavailable on any other platform, a portion of each ticket sale goes directly to Cinema Detroit.

Check out all the films on this page, make your choices, and click the titles when you're ready to watch. Follow the prompts on the resulting page to purchase a ticket and receive access to the film. Watch and enjoy! Due to the mechanics of how virtual cinema tickets are sold, we regret that we cannot offer member discounts, gift card sales, or passes for online shows.

We know you have a variety of entertainment options, but when you watch a Virtual Cinema Detroit selection, you are giving us much-needed support while enjoying something new. It's a win-win!
Membership in the Cinema Detroit Crew has more perks than ever. Join or renew now, and in addition to all the regular benefits, you'll receive one free month of Music Box Direct and 3 free months of MUBI. Complete info is on our site here.

Donations to the Cinema Detroit are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor Allied Media Projects and help us to cover expense like rent and utilities that we still have to pay while we're closed. For more info, visit our donation page

Last but not least, gift cards are available here. They'll be held under your name at the box office and redeemable as usual when we re-open.
We wouldn't be here without our generous donors!
Thank you!

Metro Detroit’s only truly independent cinema, delivering an eclectic, quirky and quality mix of contemporary, indie, cult, genre, and classic movies in the heart of the city.

Established in 2013, it is also the only first-run 7-day-a-week movie theater in Greater Downtown. Located at 4126 Third Street, 48201, we feature movies in a unique setting – the former Weber Furniture Store – and freshly made popcorn, Faygo pop, and occasionally other locally-made treats.

CINEMA DETROIT is a community-based, mission-driven non-profit cinema that exists to benefit the community and the arts. Specifically, Cinema Detroit:
  • Promotes media literacy and arts education.
  • Provides a community gathering place for watching films and for the dialogue that they spark.
  • Provides the city of Detroit and the metro Detroit region with access to a breadth of film options, from mainstream to local, especially the best independent film.
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