The non-profit Traverse City Film Festival, spearheaded by filmmaker Michael Moore, released the newly renovated State Theatre’s first quarterly report Friday—with results that Moore called “nothing short of amazing.”
In the four months since its grand re-opening, the downtown Traverse City theater has had more than 56,000 admissions for a box office gross totaling $300,000—a number that far exceeds the projected first-year gross of $187,200.
In a press release detailing the report’s findings, Moore noted how astounding these numbers are. “You have to understand the film business,” he said. “By all measures, this just shouldn’t be happening. Not in a rural area like Northern Michigan. Not in the dead of winter when the population is a fraction of what it is in the summer. Not when the nearest full-time art house is 250 miles away and the public is not used to seeing these kinds of films on a weekly basis.”
After undergoing a whirlwind renovation last autumn, the historic theater had re-opened its doors on November 17—a move that some people deemed risky due to the region’s slow off-season economy. But with hundreds of patrons and volunteers consistently putting the State in the top 10 percentile amongst all theaters nationwide in weekly box office grosses, the momentum is showing no signs of slowing down.
In celebration of these results, the State will bring back 25-cent kids and classic matinees for the months of April and May. The 25-cent admission fee reflects the price of admission in 1916, when the State first opened as The Lyric Theatre.
Additionally, through April and May all high school and college students will get admission at half price, and every Tuesday will feature a free small popcorn for every ticket-holding patron.
For more on the State Theatre, including show times, reviews of forthcoming films, an online discussion forum, slide shows and news updates, visit statetheatretc.org.