Filmmaker Michael Moore wants to restore Michigan theaters

posted by CSWalczak on August 4, 2010 at 3:40 pm

TRAVERSE CITY, MI — Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore hopes to use the profits from his film “Capitalism: A Love Story” as part of an effort to reopen and restore classic movie theaters. The intent would be to provide seed money, tap into other sources, and provide technical support to cities that have a closed theater as well as providing similar support to towns without a theater.

Moore said theaters that receive project grants would have to become nonprofit theaters. Owners and operators would come here to learn about the State’s volunteer-based model.

He’s spoken to officials in Flint and his hometown of Davison about the project, and was in Manistee on Saturday to scout a long-shuttered downtown movie theater.

The idea excites those who live in towns with theater infrastructure but without the resources to make them vibrant.

The full story is in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Comments (20)

JohnMessick on August 4, 2010 at 6:24 pm

Is Michael going to spend his own money?

Scott on August 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Sounds like it. I’m sure he gives all of his away. So let’s examine this: he’s using profits from a film, dealing with a system he hates, to restore old movie theaters. Movie theaters that were built within a capitalist system that he, again, hates. No inconsistency there. By the way Mr. Moore, these theaters are apparently already non-profit, which is why they are closed. What’s going to keep these going once they are re-opened?

JohnMessick on August 6, 2010 at 9:31 am

Scott I am in total agreement with you.

Scott on August 6, 2010 at 5:21 pm

I’ve noticed that guys like Michael Moore, who profess to hate greed and profits, don’t seem to have a philosophical problem with it when they engage in a profit-making activity. It’s only the other guy who is greedy, not them. Of course, Michael Moore does wonderful things with his riches, whereas those bad corporations are ruining the world. Oh well, maybe this clown will actually get a theater or two up and running. I hope he succeeds.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 7, 2010 at 4:18 am

It’s called capitalism without exploitation.

You make a reasonable profit without screwing the workers or the customers in order to do it.

It is the premise of every movie made between 1934 and 1981 before get-rich-quick Republican asshole Ronald Reagan became president.

JohnMessick on August 7, 2010 at 9:43 am

Most people DO NOT understand what capitalism is. I still wonder why Michael Moore imbibes in it, but hates it so.

Scott on August 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

“It is the premise of every movie made between 1934 and 1981 before get-rich-quick Republican asshole Ronald Reagan became president.”

Thanks for posting one of the most profoundly ignorant comments I’ve ever read. I didn’t realize that altruism reigned until Reagan took office. I believe your knowledge of American history may be a little weak. John, you are correct, most people do not understand capitalism, though they enjoy the benefits of it.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on August 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm

I’ve read enough about Moore not to trust him or believe what he says. He is a propagandist. But his Leftist heart is in the right place with this project. Maybe the big lovable slob can get some results with these closed-up small-town theaters. Enjoyed reading the lively comments above!

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 7, 2010 at 8:51 pm

Altruism became dispensable in the greedy eighties when making a profit at any cost became acceptable among otherwise decent people. That was never the case anytime before in US history.

Trickle down Reaganomics and deregulation lead the charge. Movies about unpunished greed like “Risky Business” showed the rewards to whole generation when the hero received a scholarship for running a suburban brothel. The Material Girl Madonna was the poster child for raking in the cash.

Michael Moore’s movies are, albeit manipulative, not against capitalism itself but against this acceptable unbridled greed.

Scott on August 8, 2010 at 4:08 am

Right, the greedy eighties. Have it your way. I wish we could go back to the “greedy eighties.” Perhaps you can explain to all of us what trickle-down Reaganonomics was. That would be interesting to hear, I’m sure. Tax credits during the Reagan administration were the impetus behind a large number of historic building restoration projects, including theatres. Union Station in St. Louis, where I live, would have been turned to dust otherwise.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 8, 2010 at 4:59 am

Massive tax breaks for the rich and deregulation of most industries, including the movies, allowing corporate take overs of most independent distributors AND exhibitors by the big eight.

The St Louis Union Square was designated a National Landmark in 1976 while Nixon was president.

Reagan’s 150 million dollar tax credits for Union Station were strictly corporate and Marriott made millions by building a free hotel with our tax dollars there. Pork spending defined.

Looking at the city’s dire job losses and population drops since, I think would have been better spent on helping people survive and keep their jobs without having to leave town.

An economic mess like St. Louis is exactly the product of companies like Marriott that Michael Moore targets.

If St. Louis had 150 million federal dollars today would you give it to Marriott for a hotel?

JohnMessick on August 8, 2010 at 11:21 am

I would like to know what the unemployement was back when Reagan was president verus today…today tight regulations has strangled growth. Here is something to think about. Are we a freer society today? or when Reagan was in office?

Scott on August 9, 2010 at 1:32 am

Al, it doesn’t make any difference, but Union Station was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970, not 1976. What do you mean Reagan’s “tax credits for Union Station were strictly corporate”? What else would they be? How else would a massive project like Union Station get done? If you don’t like tax credits, fine, but don’t make it sound like this was an under-the-table payoff to Marriott. They were available to any qualifying project. And by the way, Marriott was not the original hotel there. It was an Omni, followed by a Hyatt, and now a Marriott. I don’t know what your fixation is with Marriott, though they typically build God-awful ugly hotels, but that firm is hardly the problem with St. Louis. The causes of the decimation in St. Louis were rampant crime, which itself has many causes, gang takeovers, ineffective city management, and a poorly run police department, which in turn caused the departure of many corporations and citizens. And finally, the $150 million renovation was not funded entirely with Federal tax credits; that was the total cost of the renovation, which was SUBSIDIZED with tax credits. And the tax credits didn’t go to the Omni or the Marriott or any other hotel, but to the developer, who was taking on a monumental risk with this project. At the time of the original renovation, Omni was just one tennant. The project also included a shopping mall, restaurants and the train shed. Though I don’t care for tax credits as a rule, in this case they made possible a huge project that paid many dividends for St. Louis. It’s pretty evident you don’t let facts get in the way of your arguments.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 9, 2010 at 4:56 am

Unemployment was the highest since the great depression for three years after Reagan became president. It then improved for the following election (as it will improve in 2012 for Obama).

Yes, Scott, there is a way to give tax credits that are not strictly corporate. You support Medicare, Social Security, and let the rich pay fair taxes instead of always paying less than the average guy. And yes, it was an over the table payment to Marriott who owned Omni at the time.

The REPUBLICAN RICH COME FIRST mentality of St. Louis has yet to recover from the greedy Reagan years after thirty years because your wealthier white citizens are still doing just fine. Everyone else is getting screwed.

JohnMessick on August 9, 2010 at 12:01 pm

I think you need to look at who was holding office before Reagan. Reagan did cut taxes and the economy did take off. Remember RICH people invest…which creates jobs..YOU can’t deny that. Why worry about someone getting rich?

Scott on August 9, 2010 at 8:14 pm

John, I think the reasoning is that if someone is getting rich (however that is defined) then he’s doing it at the expense of some innocent victim. Of course, the creation of economic wealth is not a zero-sum game, but in Al’s world you can only make someone better off by hurting someone else. Al, you’re all over the map, but I’ll leave you to believe what you want about Reagan, Bush, Obama, etc. I figured if I said something negative about Michael Moore at least one Reagan/Bush hater would bob to the surface. For what it matters, I don’t believe Omni was ever part of the Marriott portfolio. I also don’t see what tax credits have to do with Medicare and Social Security. Adding to those programs would INCREASE the Medicare and soc sec taxes. The idea behind the rehabilitative tax credits that benefited Union Station was that it would lead to economic growth, so the ecomonic benefit to society, including federal tax revenue, would exceed the tax credit. You think the rich pay less in taxes than the “average guy”? Dream on. That isn’t true either in actual dollars or percent. You’re just spreading the myth commonly promulgated by Socialists. And finally, you think the Republicans rule St. Louis? Do you live there? Like most cities, it’s controlled by Democrats, not the “greedy” Reaganites. It’s the horrible policies that have emanated from the left wing of the Democratic party that have wrecked St. Louis. I’m glad you think the “wealthy white citizens” are doing just fine here, apparently insulated from economic malaise that is going to get worse as a result of Obama’s iron hand meddling with the economy.

JohnMessick on August 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Scott…I have always found that once you know how something works, your life tends to become easier. If Al would understand capitalism, I am sure he mind wouldn’t be filled without all that crap. I enjoyed reading your posts on this subject.

JohnMessick on August 10, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Scott…I have always found that once you know how something works, your life tends to become easier. If Al would understand captialism, I am sure his mind would not be filled with all that crap that is now lodged there. I enjoy reading your posts.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on August 19, 2010 at 4:22 am

“If we continually rob those who are successful and give it to those who aren’t, then we stifle growth and innovation.”

..and if you continually rob those who aren’t successful, you have no buyers."

Even conservative right wing Henry Ford understood that an employee paid a fair wage might buy a car. Why do conservatives fail to understand that basic capitalist idea today?

tcmi12 on August 23, 2010 at 5:27 pm

I live in Traverse City, MI, and what Michael Moore has achieved there with the State Theatre and the Traverse City Film Festival is nothing short of amazing. Regardless of whether you agree with his politics or his tactics, he has created an incredible community resource that the entire town supports and has rallied around. It always stays true to its mission to make great movies accessible to everyone, and it is the single most breath-takingly gorgeous movie theatre I’ve ever seen in my life. Even if you disagree with the man, you have to agree his mission is admirable, particularly since it has been so successful in Traverse City. Good luck to him.

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