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Professional Theater News from Around Town:
Gem Theatre celebrates the man who moved Detroit’s Gem
DETROIT – This year, the historic Gem & Century Theatres will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the building’s world-record move. This month, the Gem Theatre is hosting the premiere of a documentary film celebrating the life and achievements of Peter D. Friesen, the man who moved Detroit’s Gem Theatre.
“Pete: Moving Manmade Mountains” will premiere at the Gem Theatre March 19 and 20 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is FREE with a light reception preceding the film’s screening each evening.
From the ashes of the Russian Revolution, Friesen was born into poverty in Ukraine and immigrated as an infant, with his Mennonite family, to Alberta Canada. Following a childhood of hard work, depression era poverty and service in World War II, Friesen began a long and storied career in the structural moving industry. Beginning with small wood frame houses and progressing to extremely complex moves, Friesen has become an engineering legend. He is an innovator who has developed machinery, engineering methods and computer programs, all still widely used in the industry.
“Pete: Moving Manmade Mountains” is a motion picture celebration of Friesen’s life and achievements. He has helped preserve some of America’s most treasured historic structures, including Cape Hatteras Lighthouse – for which Pete and his team received the OPAL award – and four entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, including one for the 1997 move of Detroit’s beautiful Gem Theatre.
Tickets are available by calling 313-963-9800. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for light refreshments prior to the 7:30 p.m. screening.