Covid-19 Protocols

For those entering the STATE & BIJOU THEATERS, Traverse City, Michigan

state theatre facade

The nonprofit Traverse City Film Festival is excited to be reopening our year-round theaters, the historic State Theatre and the Bijou by the Bay, after being forced to close for 20 months due to the global coronavirus pandemic that has taken nearly 800,000 American lives and over 5,000,000 lives worldwide.

Thank you for joining us in this collective effort to protect the health and welfare of all in the Traverse City region. The following are the rules and protocols regarding COVID-19 as set by the Board of Directors of the Traverse City Film Festival for the State and Bijou theaters:

1. All moviegoers, employees, volunteers, vendors and visitors and who enter the State and the Bijou by the Bay movie theaters must show proof of being fully vaccinated along with a photo ID. The form of proof required is the CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card.

For moviegoers, proof of vaccination must be shown outside the theaters before going inside to purchase a ticket at the indoor box office window in the lobby (if the ticket has been obtained online, you will show your vaccination card outside the theaters first to the Covid safety staff). Before entering the theater, our Covid compliance personnel will check your vaccine card and your photo ID (such as your driver’s license).

(NOTE: Full vaccination is reached 2 weeks after the second shot for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. We recommend booster shots when possible.)

2. All persons before entering the theaters will have their temperature checked by our Covid safety staff via a no-contact sensor at the time they show their proof of vaccination and photo ID to our compliance personnel.

3. Everyone in the theater must be properly masked at all times. Your act of entering the theater is your agreement to wear that mask and not take it off while in the theater (including in the lobby area and the restrooms).

4. If you are considering attending a movie or have already purchased a ticket online — and if you do not feel well or show any symptoms of COVID-19 or had recent contact with someone exposed to COVID-19 — we ask that you please stay home. If you’ve already purchased a ticket, please email us for a raincheck ticket that is valid for attending a future film.

5. All seating in the theaters will be reserved and socially distanced. Patrons may purchase their tickets at the box office and then come in and sit with their fully vaccinated family and friends. There will be no one else seated within three seats on either side of you and your group, and no one will be seated in the row directly in front of you nor in the row directly behind you. If you have forgotten your mask, we will have free ones for you.

6. We have taken significant steps to upgrade our indoor air circulation and air filtration system.

7. We will not offer concessions for the time being so that masks can stay on.

8. We ask that patrons not congregate in the lobby but instead go directly to their seats or use the restrooms if needed.

9. Patrons are welcome to use the touchless hand sanitizer stations in the theaters. Hand washing in the restrooms is a must for all employees, volunteers and patrons.

10. Throughout the movie, Covid compliance personnel will ensure that masks are being worn at all times and that socially distanced seating remains in effect.

11. Our staff are already all fully vaccinated and will wear masks at all times while in the theaters.

12. We prefer to do business with vendors who require their employees to be fully vaccinated.

13. While we are taking numerous safety precautions to reduce the risk of exposure and infection of COVID-19 and its variants, we and you voluntarily assume all risks related to the virus by attending our in-person movies and events at the State and Bijou theaters.


Advanced air filtration, vaccination, fitted masks, temperature testing, social distancing, and extra cleaning cannot get us to zero risk. But these measures dramatically lower the potential for contracting COVID-19 in the theater. This is especially true if you wear an approved, correct-fitting mask. Together we can do our best to keep each other as safe as possible, to set an example of what it means to be a community — and to finally get out of the house and go see a movie, in the dark, on a huge screen, with awesome sound — and with real masked people!

Thank you for supporting your nonprofit movie theaters — historic landmarks restored beyond their original glory from when they were first built, some 87 and 106 years ago. You helped us rebuild, restore and reopen them over the past 15 years. Thanks to you we continue to present to the public the great American art form we know and love — The Movies!


The Board of Directors of the The Traverse City Film Festival
The Historic State Theatre
The Bijou by the Bay Cinema
Michael Moore, Founder and President
Rod Birleson, Vice-president
David Poinsett, Secretary
George Powell, Treasurer
Anne Moore, Trustee

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