STATE THEATRE – MPAA’S #1 THEATER IN THE WORLD

Traverse City’s State Theatre combines world-class, state-of-the-art presentation with the classic hometown movie palace experience. The world’s most comfortable seats, delicious and affordable concessions, a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, and unparalleled picture and sound are just some of the reasons why the Motion Picture Association of America listed the State as the #1 movie theater in the world.

Owned and operated by the Traverse City Film Festival, under the leadership of founder, president, and programmer Michael Moore, Traverse City’s historic downtown movie house was renovated and reborn as a year-round, community-based, volunteer-run arthouse movie theater in 2007. Fostering a sense of community and discovery by showing only the best available new release and independent films, the State is dedicated to presenting a carefully-curated selection of movies that capture the human experience in transformative ways. We also offer Friday Night Flicks, weekly 25¢ classic and kids matinees, and over 350 free and low-cost community events annually.

Starry Ceiling

The twinkling stars in the State Theatre’s atmospheric ceiling were mapped by Northwestern Michigan College Astronomy Professor Jerry Dobek to exactly match the stars and constellations of the August night sky of Northern Michigan. Over 2,000 fiber optic lights of varying sizes were painstakingly installed through holes placed in the ceiling to create one of the great treasures of American movie theaters. You can visit the J. H. Rogers Observatory or the Grand Traverse Astronomical Society.

History

Lyric Theatre

State Theatre

History In Photos

1916

July 4, 1916 - Theater Grand Opening, Then Called the Lyric

1923-1

December 20, 1923 - After the First Fire: Newly Reopened Lyric

1923-2

December 20, 1923 - Newly Reopened Lyric Theatre Lobby

1941

Fall 1941 - The Lyric Theatre and Downtown Traverse City

1948

January 3, 1948 - The Second Fire

1949-1

June 30, 1949 - The Newly-Renamed State Theatre

1949-2

July 14, 1949 - Shortly After the 1949 Reopening

1978

September 8, 1978 - GKC Twins the State’s Single Screen

1995

July 15, 1995 - Shortly Before GKC Closes the State in 1996

2005

July 31, 2005 - Traverse City Film Festival in the State Theatre

2007-1

May 30, 2007 - Rotary Donates the State to the Film Festival

2007-2

October 12, 2007 - Renovation Begins

2007-3

October 22, 2007 - Reconstruction

2007-4

November 8, 2007 - Making the Starry Ceiling

2007-5

November 17, 2007 - State Theatre Grand Reopening

2010

November 17, 2010 - State Theatre On Its Three Year Anniversary

Photos courtesy of the History Center of Traverse City, John Robert Williams, Gary L. Howe, Tony Charles, John Russell, and the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Virtual Tour