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Boblo Island documentary 'Boblo Boats' heading to theaters

Feature-length doc, which explores the history of the former Detroit amusement park, will arrive in theaters in September.

Adam Graham
The Detroit News

A Boblo Island documentary is heading to theaters. 

"Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale" will dock in area theaters beginning Sept. 16, reps for the film announced Monday. 

A still from "Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale," which is headed to theaters in September 2022.

Directed by Aaron Schillinger, the film explores the history of the former Detroit River amusement park, the ferries that would take passengers there and the still-ongoing fight to preserve those ferries. It features narration from Motown legend Martha Reeves, who gives voice to one of the Boblo steamboats, the SS Columbia.

The doc also addresses the story of Sarah Elizabeth Ray, the civil rights pioneer who in 1945 forced the integration of Boblo Island. Ray's case, which stemmed from discrimination she faced on one of the boats while en route to the park, reached all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. 

After nearly 100 years, Boblo ceased operations in 1993.

In addition to its theatrical run, "Boblo Boats" is also scheduled to play at Marine City's Mariner theater in conjunction with a Boblo-themed museum exhibit that will be up for the month of September.