An Ann Arbor icon is getting a fabulous new facelift this year when the legendary State Theatre receives a renovation to restore its 1940s glamour and provide a new, state-of-the-art cinema experience.
If you’ve seen a classic, independent or special film at the State, you know that it is a truly special place to see a movie. Various thematic series run throughout the year, featuring subjects such as Japanese cinema, Shakespearean works, and made-in-Detroit feature films. The nearby Michigan Theater (also a historic gem) operates with the same management, and the partnership between the two theaters allows for optimal coordination of film variety and depth.
Originally designed by C. Howard Crane (who also designed Detroit’s Fox Theater, the Fillmore, and the Detroit Opera House), the State Theatre opened in 1942 with one screen. Currently, the State houses two screens that can run movies concurrently, but when the renovation is complete, the number of screens will double, allowing more films to show in downtown Ann Arbor. The current theater has stairs but no elevator, and the renovation will install an elevator and other features for patrons with disabilities, including hearing and visually impaired movie-goers.
The renovations will begin this spring, and are estimated to conclude in time for next year’s 75th Anniversary celebrations. The Art Deco style of the original theater will return, and the glorious view of the two historic theaters with the University of Michigan’s Burton Tower in the background will remain. You’ll want to plan a trip to Ann Arbor as soon as this project is completed to get a first look at the newly renovated, freshly designed State Theatre! Nearby, you may want to dine at Chef Takashi Yagahashi’s Slurping Turtle restaurant for a fresh take on ramen noodles, or at Knight’s Downtown for a delicious steak, or Sava’s for some inspired and creative American food.