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Posted on Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 11:01 a.m.

Ann Arbor's State Theatre marquee recognized as among the 'Most Distinctive' in North America

By Jenn McKee

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Ann Arbor's State Theatre made The Atlantic's list of North America's Most Distinctive Theater Marquees, and is the first one featured in a slideshow that also includes Detroit's Fox Theater marquee.

Both theaters were designed by architect C. Howard Crane; and the State, which opened its doors in 1942, was originally a large, single-screen, art deco theater with a main floor and a balcony, and it was owned and operated by the Butterfield Theater Company.

Eventually, under different ownership, after the theater had been renovated—by way of "quartering" the screens to create four separate auditoriums—the two bottom screening rooms were sold to the Urban Outfitters chain, who built a store in their place; but the trademark marquee has endured, as have the two remaining upstairs auditoriums.

See the full article here.

Jenn McKee is the entertainment digital journalist for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.



Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 8:21 p.m.

The Michigan Theater manages the State and has for many years.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

Saw first run of "Jaws" and others there back in the day, balconies are truly missed across the land. Not sure on the bringing back the original floor plan. Competition with Michigan Theater could be detrimental to both venues.

Linda Peck

Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

Perhaps a restoration would be a reason to expand the films festivals happening here. I would really like to see a restoration. I enjoyed this theater very much in its former "state" and would enjoy it again restored. It certainly lacks glamour as it stands. A retail store can relocate fairly easily in the same neighborhood - there are options.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 6:24 p.m.

I say restore The State to full-screen theater status :O) The at-an-angle, miniscule, hard/lumpy seats, awful sound, and tiny screens are is Urban Outfitters, with their overpriced, sweat-shop and/or resale sold at exorbitant prices - flimsy, see-thru, polyester-cotton garbage.


Thu, Apr 26, 2012 : 6:26 p.m.

Er, I forgot to add - the marquees are grand/gorgeous...and they DO show great films, it's just unbearable if you're not in tip-top shape and under 5' tall :O)