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Michigan Theater

2001 Photo from the Adam Martin collection.
603 E Liberty St
Ann Arbor MI 48104
(734) 668-TIME

Visit Website National Register 1980
Record #4111  
 Opened: 1928
Capacity: 1700 seats
Architect(s): Maurice H Finkel; Crane Kiehler & Kellog
Architectural Style(s): Romanesque Revival
National Register: 1980
Current Organ: 3/13 Barton
 Also Known As:

The Michigan opened as Butterfield Theatres' flagship theater on January 5, 1928, equipped with a full stage and a Barton organ which was played during intermissions until 1945. New furnishings were added to the lounges in 1938 and new auditorium seats were added in 1942. The Michigan was managed by Gerald H. Hoag from its opening into the early 1970s.

The 3D film "Bwana Devil" premiered here in 1953, with many other 3D films to follow. Stereo sound was installed later that year.

The entire building was remodeled in 1956 at a cost of $112,000. The lobby was widened, tiles were painted and the vertical marquee was replaced.

Ticket prices were raised from $1.00 to $1.25 in 1966, causing students from the University of Michigan to stage a sit-in protest. In 1972, the organ was restored by the Motor City Theater Organ Society and performances were resumed during intermissions.

The theater closed in 1979, reopening after a multi-million dollar renovation in 1986. A new 70mm projection system was installed in 1989, and the theater is now used for films, stage shows and concerts.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

July 2001 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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Last featured 11/28/2004. Last edited 2/17/2014.

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