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State Theatre (Lyric Theatre)

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Lyric Theatre
1915–1916; 1923 rebuilt after fire, Homer W. Harper; 1949 refurbished; 2007 rehabilitation, Michael Fitzhugh. 233 E. Front St.
  • (Photograph by Roger Funk)
  • (Photograph by Roger Funk)

The Traverse City Film Festival—the invention of Michael Moore, its cofounder with John Robert Williams in 2005—was urgently in need of a permanent home and venue for films, and finally drove the speedy and under budget rehabilitation of the State Theatre to conclusion. The festival people acquired the theater in 2007 from Rotary Charities of Traverse City, which holds a lien on the building. The theater had been closed since the early 1990s despite attempts by the State Theatre Group and Interlochen Center for the Arts to rehabilitate it. Now 440 new plush red seats fill the auditorium, up-to-date technical systems improve sight and sound, replicate Art Deco sconces crafted by metal artist Bob Purvis of Suttons Bay adorn the walls of the theater, and paintings by local artist Glenn Wolff depicting the theater's earlier appearance enliven the lobby. Renovations took just six weeks for hundreds of industrious and enthusiastic volunteers and paid workers to accomplish. Today the State Theatre is a full-time year-round art house and film center for northern Michigan.

Writing Credits

Kathryn Bishop Eckert


What's Nearby


Kathryn Bishop Eckert, "State Theatre (Lyric Theatre)", [Traverse City, Michigan], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Michigan

Buildings of Michigan, Kathryn Bishop Eckert. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2012, 424-424.

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