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The Freep Film Festival at the DFT on March 21 includes Diego Rivera at work on his DIA murals.

The 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival kicks off at the Michigan on March 24.

Organist John Lauter accompanies the silent film Pandora's Box at the Redford on March 28.

 

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Michigan Theater

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Multiple Viewing Options

The two auditoriums of the Michigan Theater have added variety to both the programming and design of the theater. The main theater glitters with its symmetrically inlaid gold patterns that are highlighted by a brightly lit chandelier. The intimately detailed lamps, stucco walls, and finely preserved woodwork also enhance the setting.

The Michigan Theater Building (521-109 E. Liberty St.) was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 28, 1980. In May 2009, the Michigan was designated a National Marquee Theatre by Boxoffice Magazine, "for its unique character, historical significance, and continued commitment to excellence in film exhbition."

Before many films in the main theater, an organist plays some friendly tunes on the Barton theater organ near the stage. The warm, vibrant tones of the organ spread throughout much of the theater. Anticipation for the feature film climaxes with audience applause as the organ descends to the final notes of the organist's last selection. In 2014, the console of the organ underwent a complete refurbishment that will keep its melodies humming for many more years.

Unlike other expansions of old movie houses, the smaller Screening Room was not carved out of the main theater. Filmgoers enjoy its dynamic acoustics, comfortable seating, and decorative images of old Ann Arbor movie theaters. The elegantly crafted corridors around the Screening Room evoke the feeling of a richly adorned home. Roomy restrooms are also nearby, with red cushioned seats in the hallway.

Perhaps the most impressive visual feature of the Michigan is the palatial grandeur of the upper part of the Grand Foyer. Its beauty includes a dazzling mixture of mirrors, gilded patterns, and glass-laden chandeliers. You have many views of this splendor from the sweeping arc of the balcony railing, and from the two long wide staircases that meet in the center of the first level of the Grand Foyer.

The Michigan recently expanded its viewing options even further. A grant from the state of Michigan helped with the installation of new digital projectors. This new equipment has increased the available offerings in the auditoriums. Visitors also enjoy digital presentations in the new MicroCinema Galleries in the theater lobbies. In the summer of 2009, the theater started showing digital 3-D movies, including the family favorite Up.

Next Page: Homegrown Gratitude

 


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This web site is not affiliated with the Detroit Film Theatre, the Michigan Theater, or the Redford Theatre.

Web site copyright © 2015 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated March 3, 2015.

Graphics courtesy of Christmas Graphics Plus, Free GIFs and Animation, and 123GIFS.

Videos courtesy of YouTube and Turner Classic Movies.