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Source: Michigans Historic Sites Online
Built in 1927 The Michigan Theater Building consists of a two-story row of seven street level shops with office space above, as well as a magnificent 1,827 seat movie theater. The structural shell is reinforced concrete and brick. The Theater portion contains a triple arcade with round, yellow terra cotta arches supported by slender moorish columns. The rest of the building is more sober with a rectangular facade.
The Michigan Theater Building is Ann Arbors only surviving theater from the silent picture and Vaudeville age. The Theater started performances with silent movies, concerts, touring theater companies, and Vaudeville performances. Jack Benny, Bing Crosby and Ethel Barrymore all performed at some point in the theaters history. The Barton Theater Organ designed for silent movie accompaniment remains intact. The rest of the building remains barely altered and continues to house offices and businesses.
From Cinema Treasures
This theater is a classic movie palace, opening on January 5, 1928 with seating for 1,841 and located near the University of Michigan.
During a recent restoration, the 1,700 seat Michigan Theater added a second 200 seat screen next to the main auditorium, and installed a new marquee to replace the older, 1950’s-era marquee (seen at right). This new marquee reveals much more of the theater’s facade, instead of hiding it. The theater retains its original Barton theater organ, installed in 1928.