About the Historic Main Auditorium

Seats: 1610 (View the seating chart)

Sound: CP500 Dolby Digital Surround sound systems with 6 channels.

Screen: 35′ x 19′

Organ: 1927 Barton Theater Pipe Organ

Constructed during the silent film era when films were shown with live musical accompaniment, the Historic Auditorium is known, acoustically speaking, as a “live” house. The acoustics are perfect for classical music, one of the reasons we’ve been home to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra since 1984. Additionally, guest performers love being on our stage because of its excellent natural sound.

The Historic Theater is also equipped with a state-of-the-art movie sound system, the same system used in the Screening Room. However, since the spaces themselves are very different, films will sound different. Additionally, some soundtracks are not as clear as others. This may be because of a poor quality soundtrack on the print, or it may be an artistic choice by the director. (For instance, the films of Robert Altman tend to have “muddy” sound.)

Viewing a film in the Historic Theater is an event in itself. Real gold leaf, real butter on the popcorn – in short, this is a movie palace that is simply not like any other theater.