Independent theaters in Ann Arbor announce decision to delay full opening until April

Citing ‘reasons of safety’ Michigan Theater, State Theatre to reopen slowly over the next few months

Michigan Theater is located at 603 E. Liberty St. Photo | Sarah M. Parlette

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The historic Michigan Theater and State Theatre are taking it slow when it comes to reopening.

On Thursday, the Michigan Theater Foundation (MTF), which operates both of the downtown Ann Arbor independent theaters, announced that neither theater would fully reopen until April.

According to the Michigan Theater’s reopening plan:

“The MTF received permission from the State of Michigan to reopen the historic Michigan and State theaters in downtown Ann Arbor on December 21, 2020. For reasons of safety, the MTF team made the conscious decision to delay a full public reopening for three reasons:

  • The rise in the infection rate after the Christmas/New Year holiday.
  • Consumer concerns about a new, more infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus.
  • A paucity of current film releases making programming the theaters of limited appeal.

Beginning April 1, theater management anticipates being able to offer regular public movie screenings and special events as COVID-19 vaccination efforts are accelerated, says the plan.

Over the upcoming months, the two theaters will host socially distanced events, including film screenings, concerts, celebrations, educational activities and programs involving the upcoming film award season.

Some events will be open to the public while others will only be open to MTF members, sponsors and others in the community.

Currently, film fans can watch movies at home through the Michigan Theater Virtual Movie Palace or privately rent a theater for movies or activities.

Virtual events and Michigan Theater concessions are also available.

Find the MTF’s full reopening plan here.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.