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State Theatre


Address: 233 E Front St
City: Traverse City State: MI Zip: Unknown Phone: (231) 947-9684  
County: Grand Traverse
Notes: AKA Lyric
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Open: Closed: Capacity:    
Owner: Unknown
Web Address: N/A
Number of visits to this page since Sept 2013: 7202
 
 

1/11/2012 - Jaxon Film Fest
Documentary filmmaker and social activist Michael Moore said a fund-raising effort to restore the historic State Theater in Traverse City has exceeded its goal of a half-million dollars by $40,000. Original article Filmmaker Michael Moore rescues historic movie theater CNHI News Service TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Documentary filmmaker and social activist Michael Moore said a fund-raising effort to restore the historic State Theater here has exceeded its goal of a half-million dollars by $40,000. He said donations were made by individuals and matched by grants from Consumers Energy ($125,000) and Rotary Charities ($50,000). It was a good combination of those who can afford to give large grants such as Consumers, Rotary and myself, and those who can give $5, said Moore.

We raised $5,000 just on the canister on the counter. The fund drive was sponsored by the nonprofit organization that Moore formed several years ago to keep the downtown theater open and to stage the acclaimed Traverse City Film Festival. The money will be used to keep the organization solvent, renovate the theater and provide 25-cent matinees and free movies throughout the year. Moore was amazed the fund drive was so successful in a short time in view of northern Michigan's struggling economy.

But I'm not surprised because I know the community's feelings toward this theater, he said. There's a real sense of ownership. Moore said the theater has sort of become the town square of Traverse City, a resort community located on Grand Traverse Bay off Lake Michigan. Moore is a native of Michigan and has a home near Traverse City.

His documentaries often deal with social issues. For example, Bowling for Columbine, which won the 2002 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, looked at the culture of guns and violence in the U. S. , with the Columbine High School massacre of 1999 as a backdrop.

2/13/2011 - Sharon Lauer-Fancher
Wow. the State is the theatre that my grandfather Otto Jay Lauer had in his circuit while managing the Lyric of Manistee from May 1, 1916 until his death in 1925. The circuit also included Cadillac Lyric and Ludington Lyric and was owned by Fitzpatrick and McElroy a company based out of Chicago. One block East of the building that housed the Lyric is the abandoned Vogue theatre, built in 1938. Mr Michael Moore was in town 02/09/2011 to support the kick off of the restoration of the Vogue by community efforts along with a check.

I thank him for his interest in helping our downtown's survive and thrive. As the Manistee DDA moves ahead with their goal of restoring the Vogue theatre I hope our community will band together as Traverse City did. I have quite the scrap book that includes most of the shows and performances that were booked at the Manistee Lyric which I am sure went on to Traverse City Lyric during those years. My only wish would be that it could have been the Lyric of Manistee then not only would my family history be brought to light but they were sister theatres.

Call me sentimental, yes I am. The Salvation Army has the Old Lyric and uses it for services and offices. They covered the slanted floor and lowered the ceilings. Last I knew the original ceiling was still under there.

Oh well, hope you find this information if not useful at least interesting. I posted on the Manistee Lyric link also. fromlauer-1@yahoo. com.

3/10/2009 - Tom
Before it closed in the 1990''s, my wife and I went to see Mr. Holland''s Opus. It was the last movie they showed before closing.
2/26/2009 - Jim Jacobs
Possibly one of the best venues in Michigan. The sound system is dolby digital and they have installed a new digital projection system that makes the pictures just pop from the screen. The high rocker back chairs, ample leg room and the interior decor is simply astounding. The balcony is a large and allows movie fans who have never experienced this vantage point a rare treat. The ceiling is a star-light sky as it would appear in the summer around the time of the TCFilm Festival.

They tend to show high quality films along with many features and specials for children. Some of the movies that I have recently been to: Slum Dog Millionaire, Milk, Frost Nixon, There Will be Blood, Son of Rambow, No Country for Old Men, The Kite Runner and more. The staff is extremely friendly as they are all volunteers. The prices of the movies and concessions are much less than the chain theaters, and you might even get a chance to visit with Michael Moore, I did!After the movie you can go to dinner at any one of the great restaurants downtown.

It all makes for a wonderful experience.

enjoy.
5/22/2008 - Jon C.
I made a visit to the State while in town and I must say what a great job they have down with the restoration. Thanks to a local observatory, they have tediously constructed an exact replica of the August night sky over Traverse City using fiber optic lighting. They have also added a reproduction Glo Dial type neon clock in the auditorium. Although, I wish they would leave the neon lit during movies. It''s great to sit inside a classic house like the State and see a movie on the huge screen.

I sat in the balcony and really enjoyed the atmosphere. Keep up the good work! I will be back the next time I''m in town!.
4/15/2008 - Joe Camfield
The State Theatre was owned and operated by W. S. Butterfield Theatres until that company went out of the motion picture business in 1984. I worked for the company from 1966 to 1984, serving as District Manager for Concessions from 1981-84 when the operations were sold to Kerasotes Theatres located in Springfield Illiniois. The State was under my jurisdiction, one of two Theatres owned and operated by Butterfield in Traverse City with the twin complex in Acme openning at the end of the Butterfield reign in 1984.

Mr. Donald Quick, and later Dean Dumbrille managed the State during her last days with Butterfield. Kerasotes Theatres ran the State for a few years into the mid and perhaps later 1980''s but sold many of the old Butterfield operations. I am not sure at that point what change of ownership then occurred.

My understanding is that the State was a Butterfield house throughout most of its existence.
10/9/2007 - Linda Barry
Officially re-opens as the State Theatre on Nov 17, 2007. Under ownership of the Traverse City Film Festival. Major renovation in progress. New seats, new projector/screen/sound system, plus internal and external repairs or replacement. Much of this will be accomplished prior to the Opening night gala/movie on the 17th.

8/22/2007 - Traverse City Record-Eagle
Back for an Encore Hope for building renewed as festival nears By TOM CARR Record-Eagle staff writer TRAVERSE CITY - Delbert Dalzells first date was at the State Theatre to see South Pacific. Now hes one of several volunteers working to fix up the classic movie house in time for the Traverse City Film Festival initiated by filmmaker Michael Moore and set for July 27-31. I walked her through that door, Dalzell said of his date as he stood near the States Front Street entrance. Dalzell worked to replace floor tiles in the front of the theater and mend holes in its metal facade. He said it fits in well with his occupation as a designer and builder of businesses and homes.

Hes among about 30 people who have lent a hand in some way, and among about a dozen who have returned several times over the past three weeks, said Tim Hall, who is coordinating the effort. Its been really cool, because for the most part, the people showing up here read about it or heard about it from somebody else, he said. And about 90 percent of the people here, Ive never met. Volunteers have worked several nights a week sprucing up the concession stand, putting in ambient lighting at the sides of the screen, replacing floor tiles, cleaning marquee letters and organizing the storage area for them.

Theyve repainted the back wall of the auditorium and touched up a cherry-tree mural on the sides. Theyve updated electrical wiring and plumbing and had the roof repaired. And theyve replaced the bulbs in the flashing marquee. Hall said they couldnt have done it without donations of time and materials.

Two paint stores combined to donate about 50 gallons of paint. The Lyric In the mid 1910s, the Lyric Theatre opened on the spot where the State stands today. A fire gutted it in January 1923, and the company rebuilt and reopened it that December. It burned again in 1947 and reopened in 1949 as the State Theatre, said radio personality Merlin Dumbrille, who operated the projector as a teen then.

The friendships I made at the theater have continued through this day, he said. I think you have to give some credit to Michael Moore for getting this done, he added. It wouldnt have happened without him. The theater closed in the early 1970s with The Last Picture Show.

New owners reopened it with its original screen split into two screens, Dumbrille said. After several years, it closed again. In 1996, plans were announced to convert the theater and the former Kurtz Music building next door into a $6. 9 million community arts and performance complex.

A legal dispute between the State Theatre Group and Barry Cole, who donated the building to the group, held up the project and it was scaled back to $4. 6 million before it again stalled. In 2003, the State Theatre Group and Interlochen Center for the Arts announced a partnership to renovate it. The group has about $6.

5 million yet to raise for the $10 million renovation, Interlochen spokesman Paul Heaton said. While current fixes are largely cosmetic, Heaton said they will help achieve the permanent renovation. Its very significant in terms of getting people in so they can see the potential this building has of becoming a core of our performing arts community, he said. Kathryn Dalgliesh, a 21-year-old volunteer, has never been to the theater for a show, but senses its importance based on comments from passers-by.

Weve had a lot of elderly people come by here and just to hear the things they remember about it is fun, she said. Its really great that were recreating memories for people and not just recreating the building.
8/1/2005 - Traverse City Record-Eagle
Back for an Encore Hope for building renewed as festival nears By TOM CARR Record-Eagle staff writer TRAVERSE CITY - Delbert Dalzells first date was at the State Theatre to see South Pacific. Now hes one of several volunteers working to fix up the classic movie house in time for the Traverse City Film Festival initiated by filmmaker Michael Moore and set for July 27-31. I walked her through that door, Dalzell said of his date as he stood near the States Front Street entrance. Dalzell worked to replace floor tiles in the front of the theater and mend holes in its metal facade. He said it fits in well with his occupation as a designer and builder of businesses and homes.

Hes among about 30 people who have lent a hand in some way, and among about a dozen who have returned several times over the past three weeks, said Tim Hall, who is coordinating the effort. Its been really cool, because for the most part, the people showing up here read about it or heard about it from somebody else, he said. And about 90 percent of the people here, Ive never met. Volunteers have worked several nights a week sprucing up the concession stand, putting in ambient lighting at the sides of the screen, replacing floor tiles, cleaning marquee letters and organizing the storage area for them.

Theyve repainted the back wall of the auditorium and touched up a cherry-tree mural on the sides. Theyve updated electrical wiring and plumbing and had the roof repaired. And theyve replaced the bulbs in the flashing marquee. Hall said they couldnt have done it without donations of time and materials.

Two paint stores combined to donate about 50 gallons of paint. The Lyric In the mid 1910s, the Lyric Theatre opened on the spot where the State stands today. A fire gutted it in January 1923, and the company rebuilt and reopened it that December. It burned again in 1947 and reopened in 1949 as the State Theatre, said radio personality Merlin Dumbrille, who operated the projector as a teen then.

The friendships I made at the theater have continued through this day, he said. I think you have to give some credit to Michael Moore for getting this done, he added. It wouldnt have happened without him. The theater closed in the early 1970s with The Last Picture Show.

New owners reopened it with its original screen split into two screens, Dumbrille said. After several years, it closed again. In 1996, plans were announced to convert the theater and the former Kurtz Music building next door into a $6. 9 million community arts and performance complex.

A legal dispute between the State Theatre Group and Barry Cole, who donated the building to the group, held up the project and it was scaled back to $4. 6 million before it again stalled. In 2003, the State Theatre Group and Interlochen Center for the Arts announced a partnership to renovate it. The group has about $6.

5 million yet to raise for the $10 million renovation, Interlochen spokesman Paul Heaton said. While current fixes are largely cosmetic, Heaton said they will help achieve the permanent renovation. Its very significant in terms of getting people in so they can see the potential this building has of becoming a core of our performing arts community, he said. Kathryn Dalgliesh, a 21-year-old volunteer, has never been to the theater for a show, but senses its importance based on comments from passers-by.

Weve had a lot of elderly people come by here and just to hear the things they remember about it is fun, she said. Its really great that were recreating memories for people and not just recreating the building.
7/25/2005 - Brent
The State Theatre is currently being cosmetically restored for the upcoming Traverse City film festival. Beginning July 27th. Hopefully, this will spark the permanent re-opening of this classic movie house.
State Theatre - WINTER 2011
WINTER 2011
State Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
State Theatre - OLD PHOTO
OLD PHOTO
State Theatre - NIGHT SHOT
NIGHT SHOT
State Theatre - MARQUEE
MARQUEE
State Theatre - OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
State Theatre - OLD POST CARD
OLD POST CARD
State Theatre - MARQUEE
MARQUEE
State Theatre - OLD POST CARD
OLD POST CARD
State Theatre - 1952 POST CARD FROM PAUL
1952 POST CARD FROM PAUL
State Theatre - OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
OLD PIC FROM KARA TILOTSON
State Theatre - 1920S FROM KARA TILLOTSON
1920S FROM KARA TILLOTSON
State Theatre - LEFT STAGE FROM KARA TILLOTSON
LEFT STAGE FROM KARA TILLOTSON
State Theatre - MARQUEE FROM KARA TILLOTSON
MARQUEE FROM KARA TILLOTSON
State Theatre - RESTROOM FROM KARA TILLOTSON
RESTROOM FROM KARA TILLOTSON
State Theatre - RIGHT STAGE FROM KARA TILOTSON
RIGHT STAGE FROM KARA TILOTSON

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