Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ann Arbor Historic Movie Theaters

Enjoy a Modern Movie in a Historic Theater

A movie is a great way to pass a rainy afternoon or a hot weekend evening. Downtown Ann Arbor has two beautiful historic theaters that show indie films and new releases. These beautiful structures are great examples of historical Ann Arbor real estate.

The Ann Arbor State Theater is a landmark on the eastern side of town. Located on busy State Street in an area frequented by students and tourists alike, the theater draws a diverse audience for its equally diverse films.

The historic venue was built in 1942, and was the last commercial building to be completed in Ann Arbor after the start of World War II. Architect C. Howard Crane, who also designed Detroit’s Fox Theater, designed the two-story building, whose construction was slowed due to the rationing of construction materials during the war. The lower level of converted to retail space twenty years ago. The State Theater plays independent and creative films, and offers discounts for matinee shows, as well as students, seniors and children.

The Michigan Theater opened to the public in 1928, and featured a pipe organ and orchestra pit, to provide accompaniment music for silent films. In the summer of 1928, the Michigan Theater introduced Ann Arbor to “talkie” movies. Residents enjoyed opera and theatre shows, but the talkie movies were the biggest draw.

Restored in the late 1980s, the theater now features both a historic auditorium and a newer screening room. The historic auditorium is home to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, and also features a state-of-the-art movie sound system. The screening Room is a venue for showing contemporary foreign, independent American and documentary films.

Enjoy spending a few hours where the past meets the present, at one of Ann Arbor’s historic movie theaters.

Image courtesy Flickr: fabi_k

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