Friday, June 29, 2007

State and Michigan Theaters

The State Theatre (located on S. State St, and is not a bow to the other large public university in the state). There is no entry for the State Theatre on Wikipedia, so I will have to look up information on it elsewhere (possibly at its website).

So, apparently, the State Theatre is owned (or managed) by the Michigan Theater (see below).

From the State Theatre information web page:
Famed theater architect C. Howard Crane, who also designed the Fox Theater in Detroit, designed the State Theater in downtown Ann Arbor. Built in 1942, the State Theater was the last commercial building to be completed in Ann Arbor after the start of World War II. During the war, building was restricted due to rationing of construction materials. Patrons of the theater fondly remember the blue neon clock to the side of the screen. The clock was there to keep co-eds aware of the time so that they wouldn't be late for dormitory curfews that were enforced during the 1940's, 1950's and into the 1960's.

Built solely to show movies (with only a screen and no usable stage), the State Theater is a high-style art deco cinema. The building was owned and operated by the Butterfield Theater Company until the early 1980s. Butterfield also operated the historic Michigan Theater a half block away from the State in addition to many other theaters in and around Ann Arbor.
The Michigan Theater (located on E. Liberty St, and may be a bow to the large public university just up the road). According to Wikipedia (from June 29, 2007),

The Michigan Theater is a movie palace in Ann Arbor, Michigan in the United States of America. It shows independent films and stage productions.

Designed by Detroit-based architect Maurice Finkel and built in 1928, the theater seats 1700 and features the theater's original 1927 Barton Theatre Pipe Organ, orchestra pit, stage, and elaborate architectural details.

During a renovation in 1956, many of the original ornate designs were destroyed. After a period of low attendance, the theater was threatened with demolition in 1978, but members of the community and local organists helped raise funds to save and renovate the theater, returning it to its original design. A second screen with a state-of-the-art sound system, seating for 200 and the ability to project films digitally was added in 1999.

The Michigan Theater is the current home of the annual Ann Arbor Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Symphony, and has been named 2006 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theaters.

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