An evening at the Historic Michigan Theater, now home to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, is just as spectacular today as it was back in the late 1920′s. The Michigan Theater is located at 603 East Liberty Street in Ann Arbor. Detroit architect, Maurice Finkel, was commissioned to design the theater in Ann Arbor by businessman Angelo Poulos. The theater was constructed by W. S. Butterfield Company and opened on January 5, 1928. The historic Michigan Theater was used first for vaudeville, then for silent films with live music and then gradually moved into the talkies. Take a short tour of the Michigan Theater History.
The Michigan Theater really has two theaters. The main Michigan Theater Auditorium which seats 1700 and the Michigan Theater Screening Room which seats 200. The sound system is equipped with state-of-the-art Dolby Digital Surround sound with 6 channels and the Screen measures 35′ x 19′. The 1927 Barton Theater Pipe Organ has also been restored and once again plays to the silent films. If you are an organist or interested in joining the American Theater Organ Society click to find a local chapter.
The Michigan Theater was one of the main attractions this year during the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival, March 27 – April 1, 2012. However, the Michigan Theater was not the only venue for events this year. The Festival celebrated 50 screens/venues throughout the City of Ann Arbor to advance a broader picture of the arts to the Ann Arbor area.
I have seen many motion pictures at the Michigan. I also remember one Friday evening, just before a Michigan football game, the University of Michigan Glee Club was all lined up ascending the staircase in the lobby of the Michigan Theater. The Glee Club sang a few songs and ended with a rousing chorus of the wolverine fight song “Hail to the Victors”. Go Blue!! Take a moment and enjoy viewing this Flicker Slideshow of the Michigan Theater.
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