New donation takes center stage in historic theatre renovation

The Oleson Foundation has committed $150,000 to restore and reopen the historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee, bringing their total contribution to $200,000.

A new donation by the Oleson Foundation is setting the stage to reopen the Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee by the December target date.

The Oleson Foundation has committed $150,000 to restore the Vogue Theatre. The new donation brings the total contribution by the Oleson Foundation to $200,000. In tribute to the donation a new 44 seat theatre in the Vogue will be named "The Oleson Family Theatre." The other theatre inside the Vogue will have 191 seats.

"Now let's get the Theatre open so we can pack the house at the first movie showing this December," said Marti Watts, granddaughter of the Oleson Food Stores founders and member of the Oleson Foundation board. "This will be one of the finest movie houses in the country in the center of Manistee's downtown. All of us will enjoy the terrific entertainment that the all new Vogue will provide."

"In making this grant, the Oleson family recognizes the significance of the Vogue to families and children throughout Manistee county that currently have no movie theater," said Kathy Huschke, Executive Director of the Oleson Family. "We agree that the Theatre will change the market dynamics of the City's downtown and be a catalyst for expanding and attracting businesses and jobs. The Vogue is a game changer for Manistee and we are proud to contribute to the final push to complete the capital campaign and begin showing films at the Vogue as part of Manistee's Sleighbell Parade this winter."

"We cannot begin to express our thanks and appreciation to the Oleson Foundation and the Oleson Family," said Beth Wallace, coordinator of Fund Development for the Vogue. "Thousands upon thousands of movie goers that will pack Manistee's downtown are the recipients of their good works as are the current and existing merchants in our downtown."

Nearly 700 individuals, organizations and foundations have donated to the project managed by the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee nonprofit organization. More than 500 people have volunteered their time to help make this project successful.

Nearly 1.9 million dollars has been raised toward the 2.4 million required to complete the Theatre this year. The goal is to have the grand opening of the Theatre during the Dec. 6-8, 2013 Sleighbell Parade festival.

During the theatre renovation project, community members can tour the facility to see the progress first-hand. To schedule a tour call 231-723-4325.