michigan theater

Ann Arbor, MI
Original Construction
Construction Cost
Completion Date
Special Award of Merit Ann Arbor Historic District Commission

National Register Listed


The Michigan Theater is a substantive and representative example of Cinema Style American Architecture.  It was designed in the Romanesque style, was renovated and “modernized” in 1956, and 30 years later it received extensive mechanical, electrical, and physical improvements and underwent a significant restoration.

In 1982, Preservation Urban Design, Inc., PUDI, prepared the Master Plan for restoration that examined the existing conditions of the building and established priorities with a cost estimate for implementation.  Eugene C. Hopkins, FAIA, previously at PUDI and now a principal at Hopkins Burns, was responsible for the implementation of Phase I, focusing primarily onimproving the life-safety characteristics of the building.

In 1997 the HopkinsBurns Team, as Architects Four, began working with the Michigan Theater Foundation to review and finalize plans for completing the theater’s restoration and expansion.  The first phase of work included an addition to provide rest room facilities for the entire complex, as well as a new 200-seat environmental theater located to the north of the existing lobby. The second phase of work involved the restoration of the 1700 seat historic auditorium balcony and the exterior lobby including plaster ornament, decorative paint and ticket booths, as well as restoration of the exterior terra-cotta facade including the marquee, signage, and the terra-cotta itself.