A decade and a half ago, Eminem’s 8 Mile premiered in Detroit at what was then known as Phoenix Theatres. The now-classic Hip Hop film grossed $242,875,078 worldwide, earned critical acclaim, delivered Eminem the Academy Award for Best Original Song, and reminded the art and entertainment world of Detroit’s premier place in music.
On Wednesday night, to celebrate the 15-year anniversary, Eminem’s Shady Records label re-premiered the movie at the same spot on Eight Mile Road, now known as Bel Air Luxury Cinema. More than 1,000 people — from Detroit, and around the world — paid $8 to pile into one of nine theaters. The red carpet screening and other festivities benefited the Verses Project, an urban music and literacy program from Michigan State University and Detroit’s Community Music School.
Timed to the anniversary, Eminem also connected with Detroit’s own Carhartt for a limited edition 8 Mile capsule collection and released a new single, “Walk on Water” with Beyoncé, from his forthcoming Revival album.
The Daily Beast attended the Re-Premiere on Wednesday and caught up with actors from the film and artists from around the City. Their quotes tell us more about Detroit than anything else.
Quotes on Detroit from the 8 Mile 15-Year Anniversary Celebration*
“We were the first radio station in the world to play a Motown record… Detroit is a music city, and many young kids look to music as a way to achieve something with their lives.” – Bushman, a DJ with Detroit’s 97.9 WJLB, who played himself in 8 Mile
“It’s in much better shape. It’s on the upswing, it’s on the comeback… You can tell the interest in people in Detroit coming back, and it is matching the pride people have in Detroit.” – Actor Omar Benson Miller (left), who played the character Sol George in 8 Mile, on the changes he’s seen in Detroit in the past 15 years
“The movie put a positive focus on here. This was one of the biggest motion pictures shot here, and that brought a lot of Hollywood attention here.” – Miz Korona, a veteran Detroit Hip Hop artist, who played battle rapper Vanessa in 8 Mile and now appears in Detroit-area photographer Jenny Risher’s Detroit Institute for the Arts exhibit D-Cyphered
“Detroit is pretty incredible. It takes a lot of influences, techno, Motown, ghetto tech, and it also pioneered them. Detroit is incredible because it is this huge mesh of music.” – Jenny Risher, whose D-Cyphered exhibit “take[s] viewers on a photographic timeline that makes up the story of the Detroit hip-hop scene” (DIA)