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

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Planned Giving/Bequests

It’s no secret that the future of the Michigan Theater depends upon the community’s goodwill. As a nationally registered historic landmark and long-standing community treasure, the Michigan must sustain its legacy as a downtown nexus for arts and entertainment for generations to come.

We invite you to create your own legacy by becoming a member of the Michigan Theater Legacy Society with a provision in your will or estate plans. Gifts like these literally lay the foundation for future generations of Michigan Theater lovers, creating a permanent remembrance for each planned-gift donor. When you join the Legacy Society, you demonstrate your commitment to sustaining a key community and nationally important cultural asset.


Susan Pollay, Ann Arbor DDA Executive Director, and Bruce Watkins, U of M professor

“Like so many other community residents, the Michigan Theater has always meant a great deal to me. In many ways it represents the very heart of our community, and it’s been intertwined with my entire twenty-five-year existence in Ann Arbor.

In the fall of 1983 I had a gloriously romantic date with my office mate Bruce at this spectacular old movie house. I don’t remember what event we attended, but we must have had a great time because here we are a quarter century later, happily married and still coming to the Michigan Theater. We’ve been proud annual donors for years, but when we are no longer here, we’d like to do our part to ensure that this ‘Shrine to Art’ continues to serve our community as the jewel it is today. And because the Theater means so much to us, Bruce and I are planning to remember the Michigan Theater with a bequest in our estate plans.”

Isabelle Carduner, Michigan Theater Member and
Volunteer Usher

“A number of years ago, when writing my will, I decided to leave my estate to local charities or organizations that I cared about. Upon retiring after 31 years of teaching high school, I started ushering at the Michigan Theater. I had been a member for a number of years but didn’t feel I had the time to usher before my retirement. I have found it to be an activity I enjoy tremendously. I love the wide variety of events presented – the A2SO concerts, the Not Just For Kids series, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the local productions, the Live Nation concerts, etc. It has also been great fun getting to know some of the ushers who volunteer at these many events.

I was especially impressed by the quality of the staff and their dedication to making the Michigan Theater an exciting and nationally recognized venue. Best of all are the many types of movies shown, especially foreign and independent. I feel very fortunate to live in a town with such a unique jewel. I chose to include The Michigan Theater in my will so that the wonderful staff can continue to provide us with unique and varied cultural opportunities.”

Giving Options

A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways to make a lasting gift to the Michigan Theater. Charitable bequests can dramatically reduce estate and inheritance taxes, and they can be for a specific amount, a percentage of your estate, or whatever may remain after all other bequests are satisfied.

Retirement-plan benefits left to children, grandchildren, and other beneficiaries are subject to both income tax and estate tax. Donating retirement benefits will allow you to make a significant gift and use 100% of your money for the benefit of the Theater.

By designating a charity as the beneficiary, some donors give life insurance as a gift when they find that they no longer need the coverage. Life insurance gifts enable donors to make a much larger gift than they thought possible, and in most cases a gift of insurance does not significantly reduce their current stream of income.

These are just a few of the options for making a planned gift. Your lawyer or tax advisor can assist you in deciding which giving option is the most appropriate for your circumstances and wishes. When designating the Michigan Theater as the beneficiary of any type of gift, please use our official title and address:

603 E. Liberty St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104