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State Theatre to Undergo Restoration and Renovation

By |2017-03-30T09:00:00-04:00March 30th, 2017|Ann Arbor, Neighborhoods|

Ann Arbor’s State Theatre celebrated its 75th birthday on March 18, having opened to the public on that date in 1942 as one of renowned architect C. Howard Crane’s many iconic movie palace masterpieces.
There is lots to celebrate, according to a press release, thanks to an upcoming renovation being undertaken by the Michigan Theater Foundation, which owns and operates the State Theatre. This renovation promises to restore the theatre’s former Art Deco glory, while also expanding and enhancing its offerings to the community.
The renovation project will include:
-Increasing the number of screening rooms from two to four, offering twice the number
film selections to patrons
-Installation of an elevator, making the screening rooms accessible to for all who wish to
see a film
-More comfortable seating with increased leg room, properly aligned to the screen
-New ADA features for mobility-impaired, hearing-impaired and visually-impaired
-Updated movie projection and sound systems, offering a state-of-the art movie-going
-Restoring and refreshing C. Howard Crane’s beautiful Art Deco design of the facade,
classic marquee, entrance, lobby, and restrooms.
These updates and improvements will help to meet the Michigan Theater Foundation’s goal of creating a world-class art house cinema.
When originally opened as a regal movie palace, the State Theatre had seating for 2,000 on two floors. The first floor of the theater was turned into retail space in the 1980s. The expansive second floor balcony had been clumsily split into a two screen cinema. The Michigan Theater Foundation leadership purchased the State Theatre space in 2014, preventing it from being converted into office space, preserving this architectural icon and important piece of Ann Arbor’s history.
The majority of the State Theatre’s restoration and renovation expenses will be funded by support from individual donors – large and small. Initial financial support for the renovation from individuals, foundations and businesses has been very strong, led by several major pacesetting gifts. The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority recently pledged financial support for the restoration of the theatre’s iconic marquee and facade. Fundraising will continue quietly, until a public campaign kicks off later this summer.
Questions are being handled by Lee Berry, chief development office of the Michigan Theater Foundation, at lberry@michtheater.org or 734-668-8397, ext 22.
Learn more about the State Theatre at 233 S. State St. in Ann Arbor by calling 734-761-8667 or visiting the website http://www.facebook.com/a2statetheatre/.

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BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.