Thank you for all the support you have shown us. Your generous gifts will help the Michigan Theater Foundation get through this difficult time. Your donations support our staff who are delivering our new Virtual Screening program and others who are maintaining our theaters in anticipation of re-opening in the not too distant future. We are here, and we are going to be here for you.
We have decided to end our GoFundMe campaign to prepare for our annual Day of Giving, coming up on Tuesday, May 5. If you would like to donate please visit www.michtheater.org/donate to make a gift.
Again, thank you and stay safe and healthy!
Every day I go to the grand old Michigan Theater and the lovely new State Theatre to make sure they are intact, secure and ready to receive movie and performing arts lovers whenever this COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Currently, it is my role to haunt these magnificent and sadly empty historic buildings alone. It is disorienting to know, unlike normal times, that the evening to follow will not bring bustling crowds waiting expectantly for films, a concert or a special show to start. It is poignant to see the fabulously restored Barton theater organ tucked away, silently, in the corner of an empty orchestra pit, a mute witness in a confusing time.
For our community to be shut out of a place they love is heartbreaking, but there was no alternative – public places had to be closed for the greater good.
We anticipate that this closure will last through June, if not longer. With no ticket or concession sales, and the limited donations that we are currently receiving, the organization is facing just over $1 million in net revenue loss during this closure. Looking at the long road ahead, we are in a vulnerable, potentially tragic situation.
We need help to pay our utilities, and to keep some of our passionate people employed and working to provide you with a steady schedule of films via the new Virtual Film Screening Program, which we began to roll out last week. We are dedicated to continuing to create daily benefit now, but especially when we can re-open the State and Michigan with inspiring films, family shows, concerts, our Young Filmmakers Camp and other community programs.
Your gift will help sustain us as we fulfill our mission to preserve these architectural treasures as gathering places for the community and keep them functioning in downtown Ann Arbor for our children and their children.
If you can give any amount, we are truly grateful. We understand and appreciate that you may not be in a position to make a gift at this time due to your own precarious situation. We get it. But if your job is safe and protected, we ask that you please stretch to make your gift count for those who cannot afford to make a gift.
The Michigan and State Theaters are central to the vital arts and culture scene that so clearly defines our quality of life. They stand as beacons of hope during this dark time.
On behalf of our board and staff members, THANK YOU for helping to preserve these practical and beautiful community icons, now, during this dread pandemic and for a happier time when we can again celebrate safely together.
Stay safe. Stay strong.
Russell B. Collins