The State Theatre, downtown Ann Arbor’s Art Deco cinema-style theater, will continue to serve as a home for movies. The Board of Directors of the non-profit Michigan Theater, my bosses, announced plans to purchase and improve the historic facility. Improvements will be made, probably in 2016, after a community-wide fund raising campaign is completed. The eventual goal is to preserve the State Theatre as an Art Deco treasure while simultaneously making it a state-of-the-art cinema center. The State Theatre was designed in the 1930s by architect C. Howard Crane, who was the architect of more than 250 theaters in North America, including Detroit’s Fox Theaters, Orchestra Hall, and the Capitol Theater, which is now known as the Detroit Opera House. Thanks to our wonderful community for their offers of help and support.

Opening Downtown

In “Chef” Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman). Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen—and zest for life and love. Joe Williams of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says, “Best of all is Favreau. Instead of mass-producing another superhero epic, he has given the overfed public a dish of right-sized comfort food. Whatever he cooks up in the future, it will be hard to top ‘Chef.’” “Chef” opens Friday at the State Theater.

In “Fading Gigolo” Fioravante (John Turturro) decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray (Woody Allen). With Murray acting as his “manager,” the duo quickly find themselves caught up in the crosscurrents of love and money. With Sharon Stone, Liev Schreiber, Sofia Vergara, Vanessa Paradis, and more. Peter Debruge of Variety says, “John Turturro brings sensitivity and intelligence to a subject that could have gone terribly awry in this wryly observant dramedy.” “Fading Gigolo” opens Friday at the Michigan Theater.

Special Screenings Downtown

In “Serenity” when the renegade crew of Serenity agrees to hide a fugitive on their ship, they find themselves in an action-packed battle between the relentless military might of a totalitarian regime who will destroy anything or anyone to get the girl back and the bloodthirsty creatures who roam the uncharted areas of space. But the greatest danger of all may be on their ship. “Serenity” plays Saturday, June 21 at 11:59 PM at the State Theatre. Midnights are only $7!

“The Muppets Take Manhattan” by storm in this magical musical about breaking into show business! Fresh out of college, Kermit, Fozzie, and the entire cast of Kermit’s musical “Manhattan Melodies” head for the Big Apple with plans to turn their small play into a big hit – all they need now is someone to produce their show. But when no one in town will even meet with them, it’s up to Kermit to believe hard enough for all of his friends that the show will go on! “The Muppets Take Manhattan” plays Sunday June 22 at 1:30 PM & Tuesday June 24 at 7 PM. Part of the Summer Classic Film Series.

Check out the rest of the Summer Classics:
6/29 and 7/1: All About Eve (1950)
7/6 and 7/8: A Hard Day’s Night (1964). A new 50th anniversary restoration.
7/13 and 7/15: A Day at the Races (1937)
7/20 and 7/22: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). The director’s cut in 35mm.
7/27 and 7/29: Sing-a-Long Wizard of Oz (1939). A 75th anniversary presentation.
8/3 and 8/5: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
8/10 and 8/12: Godzilla: The Japanese Original (1954). A new 60th anniversary restoration.
8/17 and 8/19: Lolita (1962)
8/24 and 8/26: The Seven Samurai (1954). In 35mm.
8/31 and 9/2: Life of Brian (1979)
9/1: Casablanca (1942). FREE for students with valid I.D.!
9/7 and 9/9: Pulp Fiction (1994)

Opening at the Multiplex

Clint Eastwood’s big screen version of the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic `60s rock group The Four Seasons. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation, and are now being embraced by a new generation of fans through the stage musical. “Jersey Boys” opens Friday.

In “Think Like a Man Too,” which was inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like A Man,” all the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas. But plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event. “Think Like a Man Too” opens Friday.