Traverse City Approves Another Ten Year Agreement Between Traverse City Film Festival And Bijou Theatre
After the closure since the beginning of the pandemic, the Carnegie building in Clinch Park will remain the jewel of the Traverse City Film Festival at the Bay Theater for another ten years, according to the city.
The city commissioners decided on Monday evening. The 10-year agreement comes eighteen months before the previous 10-year agreement expires.
Although the request was accepted, some commissioners had concerns about renewing the agreement more than a year earlier.
Pro Tem’s Traverse City Mayor Amy Shamroe was among the officials who had doubts about the renewal.
“We are eighteen months from the expiration of this contract and this is a property of the city,” she said. “And although I think the film festival was and continues to be an important part of our city, I know that we have a very thriving arts scene…. and many non-profit organizations in the area looking for a home. “
The Traverse City Film Festival kicked off its first agreement with the city in 2013.
“I’m amazed that this was on the approval calendar as much as this organization brings in as part of the film festival,” said a Traverse City resident. “Ten million dollars. Be aware of that. “
The theater building is owned by the city, which is making it available to the Traverse City Film Festival free of charge. The Traverse City Film Festival also renovated it.
Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers endorsed the agreement and paid tribute to the organization’s founder for his past success.
“Michael Moore put a million dollars into this property,” said Carruthers. “He invested time, energy and volunteer work to make this part of the Traverse City Film Festival.”
The theater has been closed since the coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.