Ann Arbor’s famous cinemas can be rented and viewed privately

ANN ARBOR, MI – Oscar-nominated, classic, and current films are available for private viewing at the State Theater and Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor.

The State Theater first allowed private theater rentals in December and has run multiple rentals every week since, ranging from birthday parties to family shows, said Russ Collins, executive director of the Michigan Theater Foundation.

The Ann Arbor State Theater will open private screenings from December 21st

“Capacity is really very, very limited, but people are having a good time with these special events that they only put together for a very small group of people who all fit into state and county health department regulations,” said Collins.

The theater has security measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic and has a capacity of 26 people. A staff member will ask questions about health screening and do a temperature check with a non-contact thermometer before people enter the theater, the website says.

“We’re very excited about this, people seem very happy to have the opportunity to get out of the house and do something else, and we’re very excited to have the opportunity,” said Collins.

In early February, just half a block from the State Theater, the Michigan Theater Foundation also opened the Michigan Theater for private rentals. The Michigan Theater is a 1920s movie palace with a 1920s theater organ piano that seats 1,600. COVID-19 capacity is 100, but they haven’t come close to that number, Collins said.

“We had a group that came and they actually sat on the balcony and … I think there were six of them and they had a really great time,” said Collins. “They let an organist come in and play and watch their classic movie.”

The State Theater was also opened for public performances on February 12th. They play films on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Although Michigan allowed theaters to open to the public as early as December 2020, the State Theater was waiting for COVID-19 infections to subside sufficiently, Collins said.

There will be no indoor dining until next year, but some entertainment venues will be open following the latest Michigan coronavirus order

The public is currently unable to purchase concessions and alcoholic beverages in theaters in hopes that this will slow the spread of the virus. If a group were to hold a private event in one of the theater rooms, they could purchase concessions and alcoholic beverages while wearing a mask and then remove the mask back in their room, but only while they are eating or drinking, Collins said .

“Safety is our number one priority,” said Collins. “As a community organization, the community has supported us very well and we just want to do our best to serve the community.”

People can rent the State Theater privately for $ 125 an hour with a minimum of three hours, groups can book the theater for private screenings and bring their own film on Blu-ray or DVD or choose from the theater’s selection. At the Michigan Theater, the price rises to $ 500 to cover the minimum of three hours.

The base rental fee covers the cost of a theater manager and custody, and additional cleaning and film license fees may apply, the website says.

Visit MichTheater.org/rentals for more information.

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