postcard from Ann Arbor - Explore

    Newer Older

    Our Daily Challenge - Postcard

    Businessman Angelo Poulos commissioned Detroit architect Maurice Finkel to design his dream: a grand vaudeville and movie palace in Ann Arbor. Constructed and furnished by the W. S. Butterfield Company, which operated several motion picture and vaudeville theaters in the state of Michigan, the theater opened to the public on January 5, 1928. Until the summer of 1929, Michigan events included vaudeville and silent films with live musical accompaniment from the Barton Theater Pipe Organ and Karl Weiderhold's orchestra (shown here). The introduction of "talkies" resulted in the disbanding of the orchestra, the demise of vaudeville, and the beginning of Hollywood's Golden Age.

    In the 1930s and 1940s, the theater continued to be Ann Arbor's premiere showplace for live stage entertainment, including national touring theater and opera companies, local community organizations, and University of Michigan events. The largest audiences, however, came for the movies.

    In 1956, the Butterfield Theater Company decided to "modernize" the Michigan Theater in an attempt to entice people away from their TVs. The intricate plaster work was covered by aluminum, polished marble, and a false ceiling.

    Aldridge, members of the Motor City Theater Organ Society, and philanthropist Margaret D. Towsley prompted many to join the fight to save the organ and theater. In particular, then-Mayor Louis Belcher convinced a reluctant city council to purchase the theater and, in 1982, convinced area citizens to dissolve the theater’s mortgage debt.

    Today, the Michigan Theater continues to be an essential part of Ann Arbor's cultural fabric. Presenting specialty films, serving as home to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, and offering the Not Just for Kids series of live-on-stage programs for children and families, the Michigan remains "a Shrine to Art. . . and a credit to the community."

    Oh Kaye, meghimeg, and 8 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. trinchetto 52 months ago | reply

      Great night shot!

    2. robmat26 52 months ago | reply

      I like it with the people there to make it LIVE ! Interesting history !

    3. speech4kids 52 months ago | reply

      what a terrific night shot!

    4. Sue90ca Flic*kr Is Experimenting AGAIN 52 months ago | reply

      this is very very cool...really great for the challenge. Well done
      Sue

    5. montreal_bunny 52 months ago | reply

      I like it!
      Our Daily Challenge
      Your photo is terrific! Thank you for posting it to Our Daily Challenge group

    6. TheLensHood.Com | Simplyness.Com 52 months ago | reply

      Beautiful night photos. great work Amy, Happy thanksgiving and have a great week.

    7. montreal_bunny 52 months ago | reply

      Me again....congrats on making Flickr Explore!

    8. aimeeern 52 months ago | reply

      Oh, thanks! I hadn't realized!

    9. McGilvray-LIGHTNINGgirl 52 months ago | reply

      Congrats on Explore! It's fun when that happens : )
      Cool photo.
      (Go M beat OSU !! and I mean it too)

    10. Soleil is me. 52 months ago | reply

      Bravo! greets from Bangkok....
      Your image is the definitely winner of my day; Feel free to join my group:)

      SPLENDID PHOTO!! YOUR PHOTO IS THE BEST.. by The Admin. considered.

      INSPIRE Invite ONLY
      You are INVITED to display this wonderful photo
      in the INSPIRE Pool

      Be happy; be warm to people around you:)
      Sincerely yours
      Kornrawiee - Sunny - Soleil

    11. DM 909 52 months ago | reply

      Great night shot - Congratulation!

    12. margalice 52 months ago | reply

      Very good night urban shot.
      Perfect light

    13. kevin dooley 52 months ago | reply

      super shot amy

    14. barbdpics 52 months ago | reply

      Perfect postcard - well done.

    15. James Marvin Phelps 52 months ago | reply

      Wonderful capture, congrats on explore!

    16. Thunderbolt_TW 52 months ago | reply

      very beautiful~~~

    17. M.R.Kirk 52 months ago | reply

      Is the theatre organ still in place and usable? Has the plaster work been uncovered? Great shot of the marquee lite up at night.

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts