What’s being called “the largest volunteer community-driven effort in the history of Manistee”—a catalyst for business growth in this small Lake Michigan beach town—is inching closer to achieving its goal. The renovation of the Vogue Theatre, a historic movie house à la Traverse City’s State Theatre, is on track to be complete yet this year thanks to a final fund-raising push underway—$1.7 million has been raised to date, with $700,000 needed to finish the project. Restoration efforts are full on—new floors, refurbished interior—and will continue this summer, says Manistee visionary Tim Ervin. “Michael Moore helped us kick this off here, and he has been a very important part of the process,” Ervin says. “He will do the programming down here, too. But unlike the State, the Vogue is going to be restored to have two screens. It’s a big game-changer for Manistee.”

A fundraising event earlier this summer brought in actor John C. Reilly, who vacationed in the area as a child. Reilly has said he’ll return once the Vogue opens, and he’s even mentioned helping start a film festival at the 74-year-old venue. Coupled with Frankfort’s renovated movie house, the Garden Theater, plus the opening of a new downtown Manistee restaurant and beachfront upgrades, the Vogue will help create what Ervin calls “a shoreline corridor of entertainment opportunities.” Visit voguetheatremanistee.org to donate and learn more.

This article is also featured in the August 2013 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan's MagazineGet your copy now!