State Theatre

233 S. State Street,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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Texas2step on April 10, 2019 at 4:28 pm

The State Theatre opened on March 18, 1942.

spectrum on September 8, 2016 at 8:13 pm

Theater will soon close for renovations & restoration of art deco architectural details, and will reopen as a quad cinema.

DavidZornig on April 21, 2015 at 7:03 pm

1966 photo added of Iggy Pop & Dan Erlewine near the State Theatre. Photo credit Flickr: Guitar-Tech.

Details and fade of then & now below. Copy & paste to view.!/ll/42.278926,-83.740797/id/6107/info/sv/zoom/14/

JackCoursey on June 6, 2010 at 8:40 pm

There is hope for this art deco delight. First is that it has a great staff looking after it and second is that much of the original interior is still somewhat intact and salvageable. Take a peak at these photos from June 2010: 1, 2, 3, 4

jumbobrain on August 10, 2009 at 11:34 am

I worked at the State during the split into four theaters, and did get some pictures of it before the work began. I will have to see if I still have those around…if I can find them I’ll post them here. I remember it was a TERRIBLE job, the same philosophy that had hacked up the Michigan in the 1950s…the art deco red glass exterior was smashed off and replaced with ugly green bathroom tile. There were two half-circle couches in the upstairs lobby that were still in decent shape, but they were pulled out and replaced with generic patio furniture. And a really nice art deco mural running along the ceiling edge was painted black. sigh.

DonSolosan on November 7, 2008 at 8:54 pm

When I arrived in Ann Arbor in 1985, this theater was showing porn at night (I can’t remember what they were showing during the day). By the time I left, they had dropped the porn and were just showing regular movies. Even so, I never saw a movie there. Between the Michigan and the film groups holding screenings on campus, there was no shortage of movies to choose from. I do remember seeing the poster for Manhunter (1986) on display and being interested in that, but I didn’t see it until much later on VHS. What a shame!

burns2000 on November 27, 2007 at 8:46 am

i have a beautiful oil painting of the state theater painted by milt kemnitz
on the theater marquee is the film “please don’t eat the daisies”

Skyler on November 26, 2007 at 12:57 pm

This is a website I put together a few years ago about the history of the State Theatre:

StateTwinA2 on November 11, 2006 at 8:18 am

Does anyone have any old pictures of the interior before urban outfitters? these seem to be impossible to find.

smendel on September 28, 2006 at 4:47 am

Having recently restored our seats, I know that Theater 1 has 315 seats and Theater 2 has 285.

jere7my on April 5, 2006 at 9:09 am

Chuck: yep, those numbers are for the two upstairs theaters. They’ve remodeled a bit since I left, so the numbers are approximate, but each is a but shy of 300.

Lost Memory: Good catch; it is indeed 233 S. State.

jere7my on January 5, 2006 at 9:57 am

Hi. I was Head Projectionist at the State for six years or so, and I noticed a couple of misconceptions here. One, the seating in each of the two theaters is under 300 (285 and 270, maybe?); you might be thinking of the Michigan, Chuck, or the old configuration of the State. And, gflinn, the State is independently owned and operated, though they do work with the Michigan to handle booking and advertising and so on.

gflinn on April 22, 2002 at 9:15 am

The State Theatre in Ann Arbor MI was designed by C. Howard Crane and first run by W.S. Butterfield Theatres which commissioned architect Louis Wiltse to carve up the single screen into four screens in 1979. After 1984, Kerasotes Theatres took over the theater which closed in 1989. The lower level was converted to retail space and the two screening rooms which used to be the balcony is still used for movies. It is currently run by the nearby Michigan Theatre and the official web site is