Detroit drive-in offers free public screening today of 'Genius: Aretha'

March 13, 2021, 7:15 AM

This originally was posted Tuesday.

A free preview of episode one in an upcoming National Geographic series, "Genius: Aretha," is offered this evening at downtown's Monroe Street Drive-In.

The after-dusk screening is open to the public on a first-come basis. Gates open at 6 p.m., with a vehicle line sure to form earlier. The March 13 event is part of 313 Day, a Detroit thing marking 3/13 in its area code. 

Cynthia Erivo, 34, plays the Queen of Soul.
(Photo: Nicole Cappello/20th Century Fox)

"Spots are expected to fill quickly, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early," says an announcement by Bedrock Detroit and Emagine Entertainment, which opened the downtown pop-up in late January. "No advanced tickets will be available."

The theater at 32 Monroe St., near Campus Martius Park, has a 60-by-32-foot digital projection screen.

"Genius: Aretha" (trailer under map below) will have four one-hour episodes, starting March 21 on National Geographic's channel and the next day on Hulu. It's the latest docudrama in a series that began with Albert Einstein (2017) and Pablo Picasso (2018).

The singer's civil rights activism is part of the four-part TV film.

This season "will explore Aretha Franklin's musical genius, her incomparable career and the immeasurable impact she has had on music and culture," the cable channel says.

It stars Cynthia Erivo, a 34-year-old actor and singer born in London. "As just a fan of Aretha, I've listened to her music since I was little," she says in the second video below. "I was learning her music before I knew I was going to do anything like this."

The series, with executive producers Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, had been scheduled for last spring unitil but the pandemic shut production from March 2020 until October.

Enter the drive-in on Farmer Street, just past Monroe Street (yellow dot on map below.)


Two short videos:

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