All posts tagged: detroit cinema

Is Detroit a Cinema Desert?

Detroit is an underserved city for film exhibition, specifically first-run theaters. This lack of theaters in Detroit is largely due to suburban fears multiplied by poor media representation. As a historically segregated city, the overall absence of theaters serves to further stratify Detroit across racial lines and disenfranchise black Detroit residents. Not only is film exhibition underserved in the physical space of Detroit, but also in the academic space. There are no studies of modern Detroit film exhibition, and few studies of past exhibition. All studies on film exhibition in Detroit are centered around specific movie palaces of the early 20th century.[i] For other cities, modern film exhibition is also a neglected topic, with no available studies on movie theaters in modern American cities. Without a library of literature to refer to, I rely instead on related conceptual ideas, particularly sociological theory, to investigate Detroit’s cinema landscape. Important to my argument are three central theoretical concepts: multiplexes as suburban fear avoidance, cultural/economic/social capital exchange, and consumption practices as identity. German sociologist Ulrich Beck theorized that …