In last week’s letter from Michael Moore, we learned about the most recent jaw-dropping recognition bestowed upon The State Theatre in Traverse City. The Motion Picture Association—the big dog of Hollywood studios—shared a list of their 10 favorite movie theaters all over the world. And of the two taking the cake in the U.S., the first is The State Theatre. Now, we know it’s no big news for the movie-lovers in town. Get out to the State just once and you’re hooked. But since there’s some global praise happening here, we thought we’d share just five of the reasons we love The State:

MyNorth’s 5 Faves at The State

  1. The History: Originally opening in 1916, the building has survived two traumatic fires, heard Northern Michigan’s first-ever human “talkie film” voices on screen, and experienced the complete revitalization of downtown Traverse City post-Depression and Recession. Pretty cool.
  2. The Volunteers: They’re the popcorn poppers, ticket-takers and almost everything in between. Since its reopening as a non-profit organization in 2007, The State’s impressive production relies on the tireless efforts of its volunteer-based staff.  If you’d like to get involved in the movie magic, sign up for any number of shifts at
  3. The Community-Made Trailer: You know the generic short film with the dancing Coke, the Mike n’ Ikes, and the silence-the-cell message? You won’t find it at The State. Instead, the “policy trailer” is the product of thousands of coloring-book pages distributed around Traverse City, decorated by thousands of community members, then stitched into a moving portrait of Hollywood’s most memorable cinematic scenes. We won’t deny there’s some push to buy the goodies and turn off the dang phone … But it’s just funnier.
  4. The Events: You’ll be hard-pressed to find a week without one. Couples out on the town snag unbeatable deals with Friday Night Flicks priced at two for $5. And Traverse City’s tiniest movie-goers fill the theater each Saturday for 25-cent kids’ matinees. Other annual favorites include the Red Carpet Oscar Viewing Party, Spring Break Free Showings, and Michael Moore’s big bang: The Traverse City Film Festival. See the complete event schedule at
  5. The Starry Ceiling: This one’s brought to you by a Northwestern Michigan College astronomy instructor and local astronomy buffs. The auditorium’s fiber optic ceiling is an identical replica of an August night sky in Traverse City. For an unforgettable evening with the stars, The State knows you’ve got to be under ’em first.