After raising more than $6.2 million in pledges toward an $8.5 million goal, the Michigan Theater Foundation is launching the public phase of its State and Michigan Project, a fundraising campaign to renovate the State Theatre and make improvements to the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor.

Foundation representatives and community members gathered inside the lobby of the Michigan Theater and later outside the State Theatre Tuesday night, Sept. 13, 2016, for a special announcement event and to ceremonially kick of the start of renovations at the State Theatre, which is expected to remain closed until summer 2017 while it undergoes a major transformation.

After purchasing the historic State Theatre in 2014 to save it from being turned into office space, the Michigan Theater Foundation committed itself to raising funds to restore the theater’s historic marquee and lobby back to their original 1942 art deco glory, while also providing a modern, comfortable movie-going experience for patrons. The upcoming renovations at the State will expand the number of screens from two to four, with new seating and increased leg room.

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