Franklin's 'Amazing Grace' holding Detroit premiere

March 25 event coincides with the Queen of Soul's birthday

Adam Graham
The Detroit News
Aretha Franklin in "Amazing Grace."

The Aretha Franklin documentary "Amazing Grace" will be screened during a gala premiere on March 25 at the Detroit Film Theatre inside the Detroit Institute of Arts, a representative for the Franklin estate announced. 

The private screening will be held on what would have been Franklin's 77th birthday. 

The Detroit event kicks off a run of premieres for the documentary, which was filmed in 1972 but shelved for decades over rights issues. Special screenings will be held in cities including Washington, D.C.; Atlanta; and Los Angeles, leading up to the film's opening in New York and L.A. on April 5.

"Amazing Grace" opens in theaters nationwide, including Detroit, on April 19.

There will be no public on-sale for the Detroit premiere, but some tickets will be available through contests and other giveaways. Those details have not yet been made public. 

"Amazing Grace" captures Franklin's 1972 performance at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. The recording of the performance is both Franklin's biggest-selling album and the top-selling gospel album of all time.

After years in limbo, producer Alan Elliott acquired the rights to the film in 2007, but its release was blocked by Franklin. Following her death in August, the legal issues surrounding its release were cleared up and the doc was shown to audiences for the first time in November. Indie distributor Neon is handling its release. 

A trailer for the film was released earlier this month.

Sabrina Owens, Franklin's niece and the executor of the Franklin estate, said the film is a moving experience.  

"I tend to look for opportunities for feel-good movies and music. This is one of those opportunities," Owens said. "You can enjoy the music and let it take you away. Gospel music tends to have that effect on me anyway. Whether you’re Christian, or whatever religion you are, if you like music, the music is going to touch your soul."

Read our review of the film here

In other "Amazing Grace" news, a four-LP expanded version of the live album, "Amazing Grace: The Complete Recordings," will be released on vinyl on March 22.