Ann Arbor's non-profit center for fine film and the performing arts

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The Michigan Theater Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, restore and operate the Michigan Theater venues for the benefit of the community and the arts.

The foundation was established to save the Michigan Theater from the wrecking ball in 1979, when developers threatened to convert the theater into a food court.

Almost forty years later, the Michigan Theater is proud to serve as the community gathering place for the greater Ann Arbor area. Over 300,000 guests attend movies, plays, music and comedy concerts, talks, meetings, parties, weddings and other events each year.

The Michigan Theater has received national recognition for its outstanding programs from

The Sundance Institute
The League of Historic American Theatres
The Kresge Foundation
The Knight Foundation

We are not associated with the University of Michigan or the City of Ann Arbor. We rely on the generosity of the community to provide the 40% of our budget that we do not generate via ticket sales and rental revenue. It is because of gifts from donors and members like you that we are able to maintain the theater at the museum-level quality that our community rightfully expects.

We work every day to raise the considerable funds necessary so that the Michigan Theater will continue to present excellent film and live event programs for generations to come.

We need your help! Here are some ways you can get involved:

  • Donations  help us pay for everything from LED light bulbs for our outdoor marquee, to tickets to our family theater series for children who cannot afford to attend, to a day of heating during the cold winter months. Download this form to mail a donation.
  • Memberships  provide you with numerous benefits, including discounts on movie tickets, early parking passes and more. You can choose from four different membership levels, starting at only $35 a year.
  • Gift Memberships  are a great way to show someone you care and introduce him or her to the Movie palace splendor of the Michigan Theater.
  • Sponsorships provide our business partners with high visibility onscreen, onsite and online, while supporting the vitality of our downtown and our region.
  • The Towsley Society  recognizes current gifts and pledges to the Theater of $5000 or more in honor of Margaret D. Towsley, a community philanthropist who inspired generations through her spirit of selfless generosity.
  • Seat Plaques  commemorate a loved one with an engraved brass name plates on theater seats.
  • Volunteers  serve an important role in support of the Theater. Opportunities include ushering at events, staffing our Guest Services desk, office help and working on special projects.
  • Our 1927 Barton Pipe Organ is in the midst of a full-scale restoration.
  • Bequests and other Planned Giving  options are a great way to lay the foundation for future generations of Michigan Theater lovers.
  • Program Advertising  puts your message in front of an upscale, sophisticated audience with disposable income.