State Theatre (Ann Arbor)
The State Theatre is an operational former
movie palacelocated at the intersection of State Street and Liberty Street in Ann Arbor, MI.
The theater's central location and distinctive green, yellow and red
marqueehave made it an icon of Ann Arbor's downtown.
The theater was designed by
architect C. Howard Crane, who had also designed the Fox Theatre (Detroit), and was built in 1942. The theater was owned and operated by the Butterfield Theater Company until the 1980s, when ownership was transferred to the George Kerasotes Corporation. In 1979, under GKC's ownership, the original theater design (a single screen with a main floor and balcony) was "quaded," with the balcony made into its own separate floor and the screen divided in half to produce four individual screening spaces. [Jeffrey Bloomer, [http://media.www.michigandaily.com/media/storage/paper851/news/2008/02/05/Columns/Why-The.State.Theatre.Matters-3188290.shtml "Why the State Theatre Matters,"] "Michigan Daily", 5 February 2008.] .
Ownership was transferred to local entrepreneur and
Borders Groupco-founder Tom Borders in 1987. Borders sold to two bottom screening rooms to the Urban Outfitterschain, who gutted the property and built a store in its place. These renovations have resulted in the theater's current, somewhat-awkward design, in which patrons must go upstairs to one of two theater spaces, each with seating that does not actually face the screen head-on [ [http://www.michtheater.org/state_about.php Michigan Theater - About the State Theater ] ] .
Relics of the theater's history can also be seen in its carpeting (which still bears the GKC logo) and in remnants of the original architecture visible in the Urban Outfitters store.
The State Theatre is currently owned by a group of private investors, though booking and marketing is handled by the
Michigan Theater, which is located just down the street. Both theaters show independent fare, with the State often continuing the runsof films that debuted at the Michigan.
The theater has promoted an 'indie' aesthetic by showcasing ultra-low-budget films in very limited release, such as "
Who Killed the Electric Car?" and "". 35mmprints of independent successes and cult classicsare often shown on Saturday nights as part of a regular Midnight Moviesseries. Films like " Donnie Darko", " Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and " The Big Lebowski" (shown annually) are often featured.
The limited exhibition of the films shown at the State attracts audiences from all over the state of
Michiganand city of Ann Arbor, though traditionally much of the theater's revenue comes from students and faculty at the neighboring University of Michigan.
* [http://www.michtheater.org/state.php Official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/statetheatrea2 State Theater MySpace page, featuring upcoming schedule]
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