About The Michigan Theater Foundation

The Michigan Theater 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. Over forty years later, the Michigan Theater is proud to serve as the community gathering place for the greater Ann Arbor area. In 2014, the State Theatre was saved from turning into condos and office space when the previous owners were looking to sell. With support from the community, The Michigan Theater Foundation purchased and worked tirelessly to bring the best of the past together with modern, cutting-edge technology for a state-of-the-art cinematic experience. From picture-perfect recreations of the original carpet from 1942 to updated movie projection and sound systems, every detail recaptures the State Theatre’s Art Deco magic while ensuring the best film-going experience available. Between the two theaters, over 300,000 guests attend movies, plays, music and comedy concerts, talks, meetings, parties, weddings and other events each year. 

Our Mission

The Michigan Theater Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to joyfully bring diverse people together to build community, enhance understanding, advance public storytelling and the arts, and protect our historic buildings.

History of the Michigan Theater

The story of the historic Michigan Theater is an example of a community’s vision, creativity, and determination succeeding over the bleakness of decline, indifference, and decay. It is a drama of successful rebirth, conceived through active community involvement, nurtured by a unique mix of cultural programming and brought to maturity through dynamic community support.

History of the State Theatre

The State Theatre changed hands multiple times before it found a final home with the Michigan Theater Foundation. Once a performing arts venue, the State Theatre has four new screens and theaters for movies, including state-of-the art technology and accessible features.

Working at The Michigan Theater Foundation

The Michigan Theater Foundation prides itself on a fun and creative work environment for customer-service oriented, talented and diverse staff. Check out what positions we are currently hiring, but we are always looking for front-of-house staff. For those applications, please stop by either theater and ask for an application.


Outstanding Individual Contribution Award

League of Historic American Theatres
2019, Russ Collins

Detroit Arts Challenge Recipient

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, Cinetopia Film Festival

Ambassador Award

Ann Arbor Conventions and Visitor’s Bureau
2017, Michigan Theater

Best Local Film Festival

The Detroit Metro Times
2015-2016, Cinetopia Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival USA Official Venue

Sundance Film Festival
2010-2014, Michigan Theater

Indiewire Influencer

2013, Russ Collins

Outstanding Historic Theatre Award

League of Historic American Theatres
2006, Michigan Theater

State History Award and Outstanding Preservation and Restoration Award

Historical Society of Michigan
2005, Michigan Theater

Current Board Members

Ruth Bardenstein
Deborah Beuche
Amanda Borsuk
Jamie Buhr, Chair
Jim Burnstein, ex officio
Russell B. Collins, ex officio, Secretary
Anne Cooper
Rik Cordero
Aaron Dworkin

Paul Freedman
Alan Harris
Marianne James, ex officio
Pat Jenkins
Barry Margolis
Jennifer Moore
Agnes Moy-Sarns, Vice Chair
Hillary Murt
Peter Schork, Treasurer

Mayor Christopher Taylor, ex officio
Alicia Torres
Gen. Kathy White

Emeritus Board Members

Henry Aldridge
Alec Allen
Bruce Baker
Albert Berriz
John Briggs
Lou Callaway
Martha Darling

C. Wendell (Del) Dunbar
Jean Rowan
Judy Dow Rumelhart
Sultan Sharrief
Irv Smokler
Ron Weiser
Robert F. Whitman

Financial Information (Reports and Form 990)  |   Strategic Plan  |  Cadillac Building Update