Connie Crump and Jay Simrod
Connie Crump and Jay Simrod were already avid moviegoers when they came to Ann Arbor in 1969 and they remain so today, with more than a little help from their friends, the Michigan and State theaters.
“I grew up in a town where the movie only changed once every couple of weeks,” says Connie, “so living where there are so many theaters is really thrilling.” She’s looking forward to even greater thrill access with the State Theatre adding two new screens, for a total of four, when it re-opens next year.
“With the State coming online,” she says, “we’re hoping Cinetopia will be able to show more of the films more than once, so we won’t be faced with those terrible choices of wanting to see two movies in the same time slot.”
Dismal as it was, the state of the State “never kept us from going to a movie there,” says Jay. “I’ve sat in worse seats at concerts.”
That said, “We feel we’ve paid our dues by sitting in those theaters at the State for many years,” says Connie. “Improving the sight lines will be fantastic. We’re big supporters of the Michigan and we’re really, really looking forward to the improvements at the State.”
“It’s going to be quite a magnificent little spot,” says Jay, and not just for the nostalgic. “Without having the Michigan and State at their disposal, young people who are raised on multiplexes could grow up and never even know what the old movie houses were like, and the feeling you get when you come through the door.”
Connie sums it up this way: “It’s our church. It’s a community center, a place we attend at least once a week. You can leave spiritually uplifted if it’s a good movie.”