What are the State and Bijou?
The State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay present the very best new movies, with world-class picture, screen, and sound — right downtown. We bring so many classic and special films to our big screens with 16,000 watt Dolby Digital sound that we end up showing over 400 different films annually! Academy Award-winning director Michael Moore is our volunteer programmer, selecting the best of cinema's present and past for you to watch in the most comfortable seats you can find anywhere — and they were made right here in Michigan!
The State Theatre is owned and operated by the Traverse City Film Festival, which completely renovated the shuttered historic downtown movie house, and reopened it in November 2007. The festival also renovated a shuttered, City-owned historic building that sits in idyllic Clinch Park on Grand Traverse Bay, and in 2013 turned it into a sister screen for the State, the classic movie house we call the Bijou by the Bay.
How do I buy tickets?
You can purchase tickets for both theaters online and in person at both box offices. The State and Bijou box offices open one hour before the first show of the day. You can call the box offices: State 231-947-3446, Bijou 231-486-5222.
How do I get my tickets if I buy online?
You'll receive an email confirmation of your purchase (add email@example.com to your address book so the email does not go into your junk mail folder). It will remind you what card you used to buy the tickets. Bring that credit card with you to the theater. At the State, bypass the outdoor box office window and enter the lobby to use the will call window to pick up your tickets. If you cannot bring the credit card used for the purchase, we can use the confirmation number from your email receipt.
What is your refund policy?
All sales are final. No refunds, exchanges, or exceptions.
What constitutes a senior?
Persons age 65 and over.
How about a student?
Anyone who is enrolled in school, college or otherwise, of any age.
What is a peace worker?
Peace workers get in free to regular films at the State and Bijou unless a restriction has been placed upon us by the distributor. Peace workers are people who work for peace through organizations like the Peace Corps, or by otherwise actively working to resolve violent conflict, prevent the rise of new conflicts, and rebuild societies damaged by war as their primary career. Active duty military and their immediate families also get in free when no distributor restrictions apply.
Can you accept my pass?
State and Bijou movie passes are not valid for film festivals, special events (such as fundraisers, third party events, one-night-only special screenings), or during distributor pass restriction periods. If you have a question about a film's pass status, please visit the film's individual page on stateandbijou.org or call the box office for more info.
Is seating reserved or general admission?
When do tickets become available online?
We put tickets on sale as soon as the films have been booked and we have a confirmed schedule. In the movie biz, weeks run Friday through Thursday, so decisions about feature films for Friday are made on Mondays. We aim to have tickets for our weekly feature films on sale by the Tuesday before a film starts, while tickets for special films often go on sale further in advance. If you don't see the tickets you're looking for, check back in a couple of days.
How long do you keep your feature films?
Most people think that theater owners get to decide what films they show, and how long they hold those films, but in fact, the distributors decide both of those things. Every Monday we talk with our booker and negotiate with distributors, hoping to bring in the best films, and trying to hold them long enough for everyone to have a chance to see them, but not too long that our patrons have no options for seeing new films. We keep our Wait for the State... and Bijou, Too! list updated so that you know what we're working to bring to the theaters next.
Can I do an event for my nonprofit at the theaters?
Very likely, yes! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with details on your organization and event idea, and we'll tell you how it works.
How do I suggest a film I'd like to see?
We'd love to check out films you're excited about. Email email@example.com.
Can I show my film at one of your theaters?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with information on your film and we'll take a look.
Can I rent the theater for an event?
We're not in the rentals business — we're here to show movies. But from time to time, especially at certain times of the year, we are able to work something out. Contact email@example.com with details and we'll let you know what might be possible.
Can I put a message on the marquee?
If you are willing and able to make a donation to the theater, then very likely, yes! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your request (message and date), and we'll get back to you.
What is a Sensory Friendly Screening?
Specially designed for those with cognitive and developmental disabilities and their families, we turn the lights up, turn the sound down, have close captions on, and attendees can make noise and move about the theater. We invite audience members to enjoy a positive, stress-free matinee at the movies.
What are Baby Day screenings?
Once a month, we turn the State over to one of society's most big-screen-movie-deprived groups: the parents and caregivers of infants and young toddlers. At specially designated screenings of our first run features, we leave the lights up a bit for nannying or nursing, turn the sound down a bit to protect little ears, and if your baby starts crying, talking, or burping, no problem, you're among friends. Please note that these screenings are not films for children, but rather a screening of our feature film for that week.
What is BFF Night at FNF?
Once a month we take a break from the often testosterone-heavy nostalgic favorites and new releases that dominate the State’s Friday Night Flicks series in favor of something, well, a little more girly. Join us as we celebrate the best rom-coms, teen flicks, love stories, and movies featuring badass heroines with special prizes, fun, and surprises.