If you are disabled and need help with the public file, call (313) 222-0566

A4 Behind the scenes: The State Theatre's restoration

Credit: Matt Giles

ANN ARBOR – Before today's reopening of the State Theatre, we were given a behind the scenes sneak peek of the restoration-in-progress. We can confirm that movie lovers will enjoy all of the State's upgrades, which include picture-perfect re-creations of the original carpet from 1942, updated movie projection and sound systems, an increase in the number of screens from two to four and increased legroom and comfortable seating. Another important upgrade: the brand new full-sized elevator and escalator, making the theater fully accessible.

(Russ Collins discussing the architecture of the State Theatre. Credit: Matt Giles)

"The social experience sitting in a darkened room full of strangers is what the movie experience is about," executive director and CEO of the Michigan Theater Russ Collins said while providing us with a tour of the theater. 

"We wanted to emphasize that experience with the design of the space and adapt it as best we could to make people feel comfortable in the social setting like it was an elegant place that they wanted to come and also [have it be] interesting to look at."

(Credit: Matt Giles)

Guests will also be able to enjoy a full-service cocktail bar and some Michigan-themed snacks at the completely renovated concession stand. In addition, The State Theatre will provide assigned seating at the time of one's ticket purchase as part of its “No-Stress Reserved Seating” option. 

(Credit: Matt Giles)

(Credit: Matt Giles)

"The thing about the Michigan Theater that I've always found the most charming is its ability to blend its historic beauty with a modern film program and a modern film operation. I think the State does that same thing and takes it to the next level," State Theatre general manager John Umland said.

"It's a really fun and careful restoration of the historic building and historic design but it has modern amenities, a modern feel, and it's going to have a modern program. It's the best of the old and the new." 

(State Theatre general manager John Umland. Credit: Matt Giles)

The public will be able to attend screenings of films, old and new, beginning Saturday, Dec. 9, with the 1 p.m. screening of "The Square," the winner of the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, and other films including "Human Flow," "The Disaster Artist" and "Lady Bird," which recently broke a Rotten Tomatoes record with 100 percent positive reviews.

(Your two favorite A4 writers. Credit: Caitlin Drzewiecki)

Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for students, seniors and children under 12; and $7.50 for Michigan and State Theater members. Matinees (all shows before 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays) are $7 for all guests. Late-night and midnight movies are $8. Special ticket prices will apply for special film presentations and non-State Theatre-sponsored films.

What should All About Ann Arbor write about? Take our user survey and help set our direction.