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Michael Bolton’s ‘American Dream’ Documentary Shines Light on Detroit’s Resurgence


The District Detroit’s role in the ongoing rebirth of the city is among many topics that take center stage in singer Michael Bolton’s new documentary, “American Dream: Detroit.”

Set to screen in more than 450 theaters nationwide Tuesday, May 15, the film features interviews with Christopher Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc. and Detroit-bred entertainers like Smokey Robinson, Aretha Franklin and Alice Cooper.

Directed by Bolton and filmmaker Christina Kline, “American Dream: Detroit,” focuses on the city since the 2008 Recession and highlights the dedicated work being carried out by young natives, local groups and entrepreneurial moguls. Bolton, who acts as the main interviewer throughout the 90-minute narrative, has called the film his “long overdue love letter to Detroit.”

During the film, Ilitch discusses how his parents, Little Caesars co-founders Mike and Marian Ilitch, invested in Detroit during its most difficult chapters and how their vision has helped fuel the redevelopment that is taking place today.

The new Little Caesars Arena, the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University, the Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion and the adjacent Columbia Street shopping destination are among the latest developments initiated as part of The District Detroit. The Ilitch family purchased and meticulously restored the Fox Theatre, a National Historic Landmark, in the late 1980s.

Though not a Detroit native, Bolton said the city has affected him deeply his since his music-filled childhood in New Haven.

“When I was a kid growing up in Connecticut, I was hearing incredible music coming out of Detroit,” Bolton said, referencing Motown Records in a recent video interview with People magazine.

The Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter added that through decades of touring and speaking to other artists, he became concerned about the city’s future and began work on the documentary—then called "Gotta Keep Dreamin.”

“We found out while we were filming, people are putting a tremendous amount of money and resources into Detroit, and so we asked to meet them,” Bolton said.

Bolton will return to the Detroit area Tuesday to introduce the film during a screening at the Redford Theatre. Learn more here.

Tickets for the one-day showing elsewhere are available here.

About The District Detroit

The District Detroit is a dynamic urban destination in the heart of Detroit. One that includes something for everyone—a dense neighborhood experience with a variety of developments alongside Detroit’s premier sports and entertainment venues. Connecting downtown Detroit to growing nearby neighborhoods such as Midtown, Corktown and Brush Park, The District Detroit is having a dramatic economic impact on Detroit and is a driving catalyst of the city’s remarkable resurgence. The District Detroit will deliver $1.4 billion in new investment to Detroit including the new Little Caesars Arena, Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University and Little Caesars world headquarters campus expansion. Additionally, new office, residential and retail spaces will continue to add momentum to Detroit’s amazing comeback for years to come.