State Theatre, Traverse City

#1 of 6 in Fun & Games in Grand Traverse County
Movie Theater · Fun & Games
The State Theatre in Traverse City, Michigan, United States was donated to the Traverse City Film Festival in May 2007 as a gift by Rotary Charities of Traverse City. The theater underwent restoration and was reopened on November 17, 2007. The 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. It was 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. It was destroyed by fire again in 1948 and was rebuilt in 1949 in an art deco style and renamed the State Theatre. In 1978, the theater was twinned. It closed down in 1996, when the cinemas at the Grand Traverse Mall opened, and mall cinema owners GKC wanted business at those new theaters. GKC (now AMC) 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.

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State Theatre reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
288 reviews
  • Both the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay are fantastic places to see a movie. Very high quality movie going experience, and prices on concessions are much more reasonable than other box theater...  more »
  • Very proud of the volunteers that helped bring a downtown treasure back to life. The volunteer staff is wonderfully friendly. The movies and special events complete the appeal for attending here...  more »
  • What a gem! Historic, classic theater with beautiful decor and old movie theater charm. Love the balcony seating. Decent concession prices!
  • Very nice place to experience a movie! Good large screen in a single cavernous room, not a postage stamp of a screen like some modern places. Balcony seating available. The sound was at a reasonable volume, which is a plus to me because I usually have a rough time dealing with the decibel levels at the movies. Cons: one screen only, so if you are with a group, you can't split up and watch different things.

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