Thursday, September 25, 2008

State Theater

The Location: 223 S. State (at the corner of State and Liberty)

The Facts:
An iconic Ann Arbor location, the State Theater has been around since 1942. In the 80s the balconied theater was divided to have four different screens. In the late 80s, the owner sold the lower half of the theater as retail space (now Urban Outfitters). The State tends to screen newer independant films during the week. Films generally start at 7 pm and 9:30 pm-ish. On Saturdays, the State has it's Midnight Movie, screening a different cult classic each week.

Other Info:
Screenings are $9 for adults, $7 for students, and $6 for Saturday and Sunday screenings before 6 pm. You can buy a membership that will reduce your ticket price to $6.50. On Tuesdays, student tickets are only $6.

Review: The State is not my favorite venue. Because each of the screens are the remains of the balcony getting chopped in two, all of the seats seem at an angle. The seats are comfortable enough, but the lack of leg room forces taller people to be a little cramped. The screen is smallish, but no disproportionate to the amount of seating. The audio system is a little hit or miss. I've been there times when it was fine, but other times (screening the same print) it's been terrible. The State is think is an underutilized resource for students, though. Considering it's location, the pricing is nice. If I believed in 'buying things for girls' on dates I'd take a date there, hell, even if I wasn't very interested in a girl, but she offered to buy me a ticket, I'd go there with her...

I'm a big fan of the Midnight Movie. All of the screenings are 35mm prints, and they show some great flicks. 'Back in the day' (25+ years ago) they used to alternate screening Harold and Maude and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now they mix it up much more, though Rocky Horror is always screened Halloween weekend. It's the only time when there are two Midnight Movie screenings in one weekend (Friday and Saturday).

I give the State four stars. It's something that should not be missed if you spend more than a few days in Ann Arbor per year. After UofM, the State Theater (along with the Michigan Theater) are the first things to pop into my head when picturing Ann Arbor. Fight Club is screening this Saturday at Midnight, if you're looking for something to do and can't find a party, I'd recommend going.


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