Ann Arbor’s Historic Theaters & Cinetopia Film Festival

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1927 Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor
Stately Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Join Russ Collins in Ann Arbor, Michigan for an engaging conversation about the city’s passion for cinema and live musical performances. A keystone in Ann Arbor is the historic circa-1927 grand Michigan Theater in the heart of downtown. When the theater opened on the heels of the silent film era, the Michigan was replete with a symphony pit and a grand Wurlitzer-style organ—it’s fully restored, and the local symphony still performs here.In the hey-day the Michigan played host to budding Vaudeville performers such as Jack Benny and Bing Crosby. By the 1970s the Michigan was facing the wrecking ball but visionary locals saved and restored the elegant gem. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the Michigan Theater, Collins also overseas operations at the neighboring 1940s-era State Theater. He’s also the founder of the revered Cinetopia International Film Festival held every June in Ann Arbor. Additionally, Collins is the Conference Director for the annual Art House Convergence Conference held in Utah in partnership with the Sundance Institute’s Art-House project.


Funding for the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer is provided by Hawaiian Reforestation Initiative.

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Michigan Theater Ann Arbor Michigan
Elegant interior of the circa-1927 Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer
State Theater, Ann Arbor
1940s stately State Theater, downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer