Ann Arbor’s Historic Movie Palace
Restored to its original 1928 glory, the Michigan Theater gives passers-by a preview of its spectacular interior. After several attempts to “improve” it, the marquee is at last back to its original splendor – including the vertical Michigan sign, which had been removed decades earlier.
Removed in the 1950s modernizing movement, the elegant octagonal ticket booth was created according to historical specifications.
An added dropped ceiling was removed to reveal the ornate plaster-embellished ceiling, which was restored with metallic leaf and paint that was meticulously researched to reproduce the original colors. The concession stand serves popcorn with real butter, as well as candy, pastry, and other treats.
Lighting, paneling, and carpet have all been matched as closely as possible to the theater’s original furnishings.
Gorgeous double stairways sweep up to the balcony.
Philip Dattilo, Michigan Alumnus magazine, 1987
Recovered from the battleship gray color scheme imposed upon it in the 1950s, the balcony now basks in the reflected glow of the chandeliers.
Painted with real gold, plaster medallions grace the tops of stylized Corinthian columns.
View from the Balcony
The full effect of the restoration is evident from this balcony vantage point.
View from the Stage
Here’s the view from the front of the house. Performers love the theater’s “live” acoustics.
The Barton Theatre Pipe Organ
The beloved Barton Organ still thrills audiences with its brilliant color scheme and unique music.
The Screening Room
The recently added Screening Room pays tribute to area theaters no longer in existence.