State Theatre (Traverse City, Michigan)

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Opening night of the Traverse City State Theatre

The State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan, United States was donated to the Traverse City Film Festival in May 2007 as a gift by Grand Traverse Rotary Charities. The theater underwent restoration and was reopened on November 17, 2007.[1] Motion Picture Association of America listed the State Theatre as the #1 movie theater in the world.

The State Theatre is located on East Front Street in downtown Traverse City and was founded and built by Julius H. Steinberg in 1916 and named the Lyric Theater and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire. It showed the first talking movie seen in Northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre.[2] It closed down in 1991, when the cinemas at the Grand Traverse Mall opened, and mall cinema owners GKC wanted business at those new theaters. GKC (now Carmike) placed a deed restriction on subsequent owners of the State to prevent them from showing certain major Hollywood films. The theatre was revitalized before being used during the Traverse City Film Festival which began in July 2005. On November 17, 2007, the community celebrated the grand opening of the theater as a year-round art house. The building was restored through hundreds of volunteer hours and financial support of director Michael Moore. In addition to Michael Moore, many other contributors provided financial support that helped in the long process of re-opening the State Theatre.


  1. ^ Melnick, Rachel (2007-10-05). "State Theatre grand opening set". WTOM-TV. Retrieved 2007-10-07. 
  2. ^ "State Theatre history". Traverse City Record-Eagle. Retrieved 2016-10-29. 

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Coordinates: 44°45′51″N 85°37′10″W / 44.7642°N 85.6195°W / 44.7642; -85.6195