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September 05, 1985 - Image 39

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-09-05
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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The Michigan Daily - Thursday, September 5, 1985 - Page A2 11

The Michigan

Theater

undergoes restoration

By JANICE PLOTNIK
Fifty-seven years of wear and tear
Chas taken its toll on the historic
Michigan Theater, but management
pfficials plan to restore the structure
to its original vaudeville movie
palace atmosphere here next year.
Plans are currently being drawn to
restore the theater, where students
and area residents got to see movie
classics, rock concerts, and plays.
Construction should begin in the
summer of 1966.
IN 1979, city officials considered
tearing the theater down and building
either a shopping center or a parking
lot in its place, according to Shelley
MacMillan, the theater's director.
But members of the Motor City
Organ Society banded together with
city residents to save the building.
The group lobbied to get as one-time
tax hike on the ballot allocating funds
to help the theater pay past debts, and
voters approved the millage in 1979.
During the restoration, stylistically
appropriate lighting fixtures will
replace the current fixtures, while the
walls and ceilings will be repainted to
reflect the red, blue, and gold color
scheme of the theater's original
design.
BLOOM COUNTY
H I -
Watch for it in

CURRENTLY, the theater's colors
are orange, ivory, blue and battleship
gray. Russ Collins, executive director
for the theater, said the new paint job
will be "spectacular and stunning."
Although the theater's Board of
Trustees is still unsure about the color
scheme, Bruce Amrine, head of the
facilities committee, said the board
intends to combine architectural ac-
curacy with current expectations.
"We want to give people what
they're looking for," he said.
Collins said previous inappropriate
remodeling is partially to blame for
the theater losing its sparkle. "Over-
painting done in 195E covered up
elaborate decorations from the
192's," Collins said.
THE MOST extensive work will in-
clude restoring the main auditorium
and grand foyer, Collins said. In ad-
dition, major improvements in the
building's heating, cooling, and elec-
trical systems will be made.
"There have been technological
changes since the theater has been
built, and we want to take advantage
of them," he said.

Currently, the theater is in the
"design phase," Collins said. The ar-
chitects are coming up with the actual
plans and drawings, he said.
The theater's Board of Trustees is
raising the necessary funds for the
restorations. Of the estimated $1.5
million needed for the restoration
work, $730,000 has been raised so far.
The latest fund-raiser involves a
"seat sale," where interested buyers
may purchase a seat within the
theater for $500. Seat owners then
place a brass tag on the back of the
seat dedicating the chair to a favorite
movie star, stage star, relative, or
themselves.
THE DAILY
CLASSIFIEDS
ARE A GREAT WAY TO
GET FAST RESULTS
CALL 764-0557

Doily Photo by DAN HABIB
This water fountain, sitting in the theatre's basement, will be re-installed in the front lobby.

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