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Capital Campaign 2022-2023

Restore Your Jackson Treasure

We are embarking on a restoration campaign to bring the theatre up to optimal operating and performance efficiency. The restoration projects are phased in order of importance, in relationship to each other (I.E. Optimal climate control through new HVAC equipment will be in place before plaster restoration begins, to guarantee optimal plaster longevity.)

We are in need of financial support for both this renovation project and our continued operations, you can designate your financial support for either category.

A View Into Our Future

STAGE EXTENSION, NEW LIGHTING & STORAGE AREA DRAMATICALLY INCREASES THE MICHIGAN THEATRE OF JACKSON’S OPPORTUNITIES

Extending and elevating the stage to the edge of the original orchestra pit will allow for larger casts in performances like musicals, a symphony, concerts, and dance recitals. This much-needed increase in area will utilize the space in place while creating new, much needed storage area.

A REDESIGNED BALCONY TO ACCOMMODATE BOX SEATING, NEW LED ENERGY-EFFICIENT STAGE LIGHTING, ALL ADD TO EFFICIENCY, SAFETY, AND COMFORT

Improvements in balcony seating and safety will help us meet the future head-on. Box seating with safety rails and larger seats will make this new area “the place to be” for films or live performances. A new rigging system above the stage will render useless the hemp-driven theater of the 1930s. New moving LED lighting will expand our capabilities to meet the needs of modern performances.

A REDESIGNED BALCONY TO ACCOMMODATE BOX SEATING, NEW LED ENERGY-EFFICIENT STAGE LIGHTING, ALL ADD TO EFFICIENCY, SAFETY, AND COMFORT

Improvements in balcony seating and safety will help us meet the future head-on. Box seating with safety rails and larger seats will make this new area “the place to be” for films or live performances. A new rigging system above the stage will render useless the hemp-driven theater of the 1930s. New moving LED lighting will expand our capabilities to meet the needs of modern performances.

Our Needs to Make this Possible

WHERE YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE INVESTED

The chart illustrates our targeted needs to make the necessary repairs and improvements to take The Michigan Theatre of Jackson into the next century. Your generous donations will make it possible for future generations to enjoy this incredible building. We promise to spend these donations openly and thoughtfully.

Show Your Support

We are embarking on a Restoration Campaign to bring the theatre up to optimal operating and performance efficiency. The restoration projects are phased in order of importance, in relationship to each other. (i.e., optimal climate control through new HVAC equipment will be in place before plaster restoration begins, to guarantee optimal plaster longevity.)

A Historic Gem Enhanced by Fine Craftsmanship & Modern Technology


Updating Ada Compliance, HCA Seating, and Compatibility

Upgrading all doors, entrances, and restrooms to accommodate all persons, while complying with all laws and ADA regulations.

New HVAC System

This upgrade allows us to provide a historic venue that meets ventilation and filtration recommendations for reducing airborne infectious aerosol exposure. This will also improve plaster longevity, energy efficiency and reduce long-term utility & maintenance expenses.

Plaster Restoration & Painting

The restoration requires great attention and the work of experienced artisans. This is a major portion of the renovation budget, but critical to the historic preservation of the space’s breathtaking beauty.

Carpeting, Flooring, Safety Lighting

Some of our existing carpeting is 92 years old! Newer floor coverings were installed in the 1990s. All are well-worn and, in some locations, sections have been removed to maintain safety. This is our opportunity for a full, proper replacement. We are sourcing period-correct designs with high durability. LED safety lighting will be installed along carpet edges to ensure visitor safety.

Balcony Box Seating

Creating a balcony with larger seating areas that enhance guests’ safety and comfort will deliver an experience that illustrates the flexibility of a modern-day venue wrapped in the opulence of the grandeur of the 1930s. The incline of the current steps will be decreased thereby creating a safer more enjoyable experience.

Stage extension

Extending the main stage level to the edge of the orchestra pit will allow more elaborate types of entertainment including dramatic presentations with larger casts, the ballet, symphony, and events that require more stage area including meetings, weddings, & workshops.

Rigging System w/ LED Lighting

These behind-the-scenes mechanisms used to lower, raise, and carry stage lighting, curtains, and often scenery needs to be modernized to meet the standards set for safety, efficiency, and maintenance. Weight and counterweights are distributed to allow for improved performance and operator safety. An LED lighting system will allow us to maintain the classic feel while offering enhanced performance.

Contributing to Downtown Revitalization

These immediate renovations, along with the subsequent phased projects will promote cultural tourism in the area with our refreshed interior, ultimately enhancing the attractiveness and growing economic vitality of Downtown Jackson.

The Michigan Theatre of Jackson is the last of its kind in downtown Jackson. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980. It stands today as a combination of a beautiful work of architecture and state-of-the-art performance technology.

In addition to a wide variety of local events, we promote tourism & market to the entire state with several marquee acts.

Classic Experiences With Cost-Effectiveness

With support from our community, state and federal grants, donations, and sales we find it possible to offer our events at very reasonable prices to serve our community across a wide range of economic status.

The Michigan Theatre is for everyone. The Michigan Theatre also offers memberships for individuals, family, and premium corporate memberships. For those that wish to volunteer, we currently have a volunteer staff numbering over 200 that help with some of the 300 events per year.

We are committed to offering inexpensive children and family films throughout the summer with eight weeks of children’s films sponsored year in and year out by Kiwanis of Jackson. For the last decade, we have partnered with the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and Jackson Downtown Development Authority to host free family outdoor movies & concerts during the summer months.

Education remains a highlight for us as we host numerous films and other events for every school in the county. It is safe to say that every young person in Jackson County has seen a film, a play, or taken a tour in The Michigan Theatre of Jackson.

Musically, we offer open-stage nights hosted by area musicians on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons where young and older musicians can perform on stage together on a stage that also hosts national and international acts of great renown and skill. It is a stage for all, and we encourage it.

Experiences We Offer

We feature more than 300 events each year that appeal to a wide demographic.

  • Classic Films and First-Run Films
  • Concerts
  • Musicals 
  • Live Drama 
  • Weddings 
  • Graduations 
  • Sporting Events on The Big Screen 
  • Corporate Meetings 
  • College Classes
  • Birthday Parties
  • Open Jam Sessions
  • Singer-Songwriter Performances
  • International Performers
  • Ballet
  • Symphony

The Michigan Theatre of Jackson Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation that aims to provide classic entertainment and experiences in an incredible historic venue. The organization acquired the building from the City of Jackson in 1993 and we continue to restore and operate the theatre, bring in classic films, art films, live theatre productions, concerts, meetings, and other community events.

Presenting an Incredible, Historic Venue for Modern Audiences

To stay true to our mission, we must care for the theatre and attend to restoration projects that not only affect the aesthetics of the building, but also the safety of our guests.

With the Restoration Project, we will carry on our tradition of serving the entire Jackson Community with artful and entertaining programs.

The restoration projects will ensure the theatre will be around for the future, serving our loyal community supporters in a safe and energy-efficient manner.

Our upcoming renovation project will finally transform downtown Jackson’s sleeping beauty into a major attraction for the entire region.

Historic Preservation

One sign of a thriving community is its simultaneous ability to preserve and expand its culture. Preserving and enhancing a community hub for the arts is an ideal example.

Stunning Picture & Sound

Do we want to have any information here about existing efforts to have high quality projection image quality and sound/audio efforts? I think this could be good to show another existing benefit that the campaign will build upon.

A Culture of Lean Innovation

While we have shown ourselves to be very effective with very limited financial and physical resources, we are ready to be able to significantly take our efforts to the next level with the proper financial support.

We have built a lean, but tight-knit staff that is dedicated and focused on building an important organization and seeing through a transformation in our community.

The Michigan Theatre, the last and largest theatre built in downtown Jackson, opened April 30, 1930. It was built for the mainstream popular entertainment of the day — vaudeville and movies.

For just pennies, the public was treated like royalty as it passed under a glittering marquee into a Hollywood Fantasyland.

The building’s exotic Spanish style, lavish interior plasterwork, ornate polychrome terra cotta facade, carved walnut furniture, plush wool carpeting, heavy damask draperies, stained glass light fixtures, and oil paintings entertained the patrons as much as the attractions on the stage and screen. It was the first air conditioned building in downtown Jackson and offered a place to escape the summer heat.

Many of our Jackson residents remember seeing their first movie in this theatre. They fondly remember entering through the massive doors, gliding up the incline to the theatre lobby, smelling the freshly popped popcorn, and seeing the vast interior of the theatre. Suddenly they were transported through time to a familiar, comfortable place in history.

The Michigan Theatre, unlike many older theatres, escaped severe alterations as styles and the movie business changed over the years.

Early on, the interior was partially repainted in a darker color scheme, carpet was changed, the marquee was changed to a modern, streamlined style, and a candy counter was added. Its original owners, Butterfield Theatres, maintained it well until it ceased operation in 1978.

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Address

124 N. Mechanic StreetJackson, Michigan 49201