A group of volunteers is working to revive a run-down theatre, and bring life back to one local community. A local celebrity is helping to spread the word that more funding is needed to finish the project.
Filmmaker Michael Moore is known for helping bring back the Traverse City State Theatre, and now he's focusing on the restoration of the Vogue Theatre in Manistee. The project to restore the 74 year old theatre was started last year.
They are hoping to open one screen, and that the money generated from that will help open the second screen.
Moore said, "I don't think a town like this should be without a movie theatre. There's not a single movie theatre in this entire county-forget about just the town. And that you have to drive 45 minutes or longer either way to see a movie is just wrong."
So far, eight hundred thousand dollars has been donated to the project. That's paid for a new roof and interior demolition, and been used to preserve the theatre's steel beams and wall art from the 1930s.
The project is now running low on cash-so Moore spoke out today, trying to help raise more funds for a new floor, concessions, and seats. To help encourage the community, Moore and representatives spoke about the economic impact the state theatre has had in Traverse City.
Moore also talked about the movies being a fun, affordable night out for families, stating "Not everybody can afford to go to concerts in Interlochen, not everybody can afford to go down to a Tigers game. All the other things we could do, or used to do, or wish we could do with our families, and are unable to do in this economy - what we can do is go to the movies."
The Vogue Theatre is up for a quarter million grant, which they should hear about in the next week or two, but are hoping for more local donations as well.
If everything goes as planned, they hope to show the first movie by Christmas.