The new ownership of the will offer patrons a nostalgic look at the past while also giving them a glimpse of the future during the final week before major renovations.
Starting tonight at 7 p.m., the theater begins it's series, which will run daily through July 22. Each night, films from the American Film Institute's top 100 list that withstood the test of time will be shown for just $5. Tickets include free popcorn for every movie, which won't be disclosed until the curtains rise.
The spontaneous programming is just one of the regular features when renovations conclude in the fall. It will also help reshape the Maple's reputation as community fixture that continues to specialize in independent, art and foreign films, while offering the best best 'upscale films' cinema has to offer, spokesman Jeremy Mills said.
"The mystery screenings play into this in a major way: if you and your friends decide you'd like to see a movie, we want the Maple to be the option where the details aren't important," he explained. "Show up. Have a cup of coffee and a dessert. And no matter what, something well worth your time and money will be playing on our screens."
Mills said the films are already chosen and that only a select few at the theater know the line-up, though some clues might trickle out on social media. Friday's screening is guaranteed to be family-friendly, and Sunday's event will include a special introduction from Goldstein.
The idea seems to be resonating. The theater established a Facebook page for the event last week, which showed 29 confirmed attendees for Monday with lots of positive feedback.
That's all part of a broader strategy to keep the 37-year-old theater viable for decades to come.
On the facility side, new theaters, new seating and new bathrooms are in the plans. Renovations also include a larger lobby area with seating, Wi-Fi service and extended daytime hours to maximize improved coffee shop. Last month, the for the theater, which will serve wine and Michigan-made brews.
In addition to the secret cinema series, the theater plans these other innovations:
- Enlisting local celebrities and personalities to 'curate' the secret cinema series by selecting their own favorite movies.
- The start of "The Maple Club," which will include more personalized service, free popcorn, a role in the 'Secret Cinema' screenings and special discounts.
- A traditional 'rewards' program from frequent patrons.