Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
More Than A Megaplex
The Michigan, which opened in 1928, carefully walks a fine line between an art film cinema and a megaplex theater. First time visitors will find many of the theater's features familiar, including much of the concession stand food, previews of coming attractions, and the daily showings of different films in multiple auditoriums.
But where the similarities end, the magic begins. At the concession stand, it's not just candy and popcorn. Locally owned Zingerman's serves up baked goods like brownies and cookies. You can cool off with Stucchi's ice cream or a Minute Maid fruit juice.
Contributing to the friendly personality of the theater is a guest counter where you can buy theater memberships; discount tickets; CDs of music by theater organists; items with the Michigan Theater logo (like sweatshirts and coffee cups); and a 2013 book about the history of the Michigan (The Michigan Theater: Ann Arborís Home for Fine Film and the Performing Arts Since 1928).
Membership benefits include free and discounted admission and snack food. Several times a year, members are treated to special events that included catered food and free admisssion, including the annual Valentine's Day movie that always draws a large crowd. Members can also attend the board of directors meeting and find out more about the operations of the theater.
In the theater auditoriums, you'll often hear film introductions by theater Executive Director/CEO Russ Collins; Programming and Education Director Amanda Bynum; Sponsorship and Towsley Society Director Drew Waller; Facility and Programming Manager Brian Hunter; other theater staff members, or special guests. Russ also contributes insightful comments to articles in the local media about the movie theater business in the Ann Arbor area.
The educational mission of the theater has expanded to include film classes taught by Russ Collins and organist Henry Aldridge, who both have taught at Eastern Michigan University. These classes have turned the theater into a classroom, with informative lectures and feature films that build on the lectures.
Audiences at the Michigan can be lively, thanks in part to the young families and University of Michigan students who attend movies there. At a showing of The Adventures of Robin Hood, the crowd burst into applause at several dramatic entrances of Errol Flynn. For the Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera, visitors imitated Groucho with fake noses, glasses, and mustaches. At Christmas, everyone is invited to help decorate a Christmas tree in the Grand Foyer (main lobby), which adds to the enjoyment of the many holiday movies shown at the Michigan.
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This website is not affiliated with the Detroit Film Theatre, the Michigan Theater, or the Redford Theatre.
Website copyright © 2015 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.
Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated July 26, 2015.
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Videos courtesy of YouTube and Turner Classic Movies.