Detroit Movie Palaces
Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Detroit Film Theatre
Multiple Viewing Options
The three auditoriums of the Michigan Theater have added variety to both the programming and design of the theater. The main theater glitters with its symmetrically inlaid gold patterns that are highlighted by a brightly lit chandelier. The intimately detailed lamps, stucco walls, and finely preserved woodwork also enhance the setting.
The Michigan Theater Building (521-109 E. Liberty St.) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 1980. In May 2009, the Michigan was designated a National Marquee Theatre by Boxoffice Magazine, "for its unique character, historical significance, and continued commitment to excellence in film exhbition."
Before many films in the main theater, an organist plays friendly tunes on the Barton theater organ near the stage. The warm, vibrant tones of the organ spread throughout much of the theater. Anticipation for the feature film climaxes with audience applause as the organ descends to the final notes of the organist's final tune. In 2014, the console of the organ underwent a complete refurbishment that will keep its melodies humming for many more years.
Unlike other expansions of old movie houses, the smaller Screening Room was not carved out of the main theater. Filmgoers enjoy its dynamic acoustics, comfortable seating, and decorative images of old Ann Arbor movie theaters. The elegantly crafted corridors around the Screening Room evoke the feeling of a richly adorned home. Roomy restrooms are also nearby, with red cushioned seats in the hallway. The Annex theater was added in 2016 to increase filmgoing options.
Perhaps the most impressive visual feature of the Michigan is the palatial grandeur of the upper part of the Grand Foyer. Its beauty includes a dazzling mixture of mirrors, gilded patterns, and glass-laden chandeliers. You have many views of this splendor from the sweeping arc of the balcony railing, and from the two long wide staircases that meet in the center of the first level of the Grand Foyer.
A grant from the state of Michigan helped with the installation of new digital projectors. This equipment increased the available offerings in the auditoriums.
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Launched November 25, 2005.
Last updated November 25, 2020.
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