- State Theatre
- Bijou by the Bay
- City Opera House
- Old Town Playhouse
- Lars Hockstad Auditorium
- Milliken Auditorium & Dutmers Theater
- Open Space Outdoor Cinema
- Cinema Salon
- Film School
- Brilliant Books Bookstall
THE STATE THEATRE
233 E. Front St.
The State Theatre is the home of the Traverse City Film Festival. A classic Traverse City landmark, the State Theatre harkens back to the golden days of cinema. Originally built in 1916 and rebuilt in 1923 after a fire, it showed the first talking movie seen in northern Michigan in 1929 when it was known as the Lyric Theatre. Another fire gutted the building in January 1948. It reopened under the name State Theatre in June 1949 with then-elegant details like walnut paneling and plush carpet. Split into a duplex in the mid-seventies, a movie had not been shown on its restored single, main screen in almost 30 years until the first Traverse City Film Festival in 2005, when the theatre was “re-opened” by a dedicated army of volunteers. In 2007, Rotary Charities of Traverse City donated the State Theatre to the Traverse City Film Festival so that the festival would have a permanent home. Thanks to generous contributions from Deluxe Film Labs/EFilm, Fifth Third Bank, Michael Moore, the Buzz Wilson Family, Richard and Diana Milock, an anonymous donor, the Herrington-Fitch Foundation, The Les and Anne Biederman Foundation, Polly Jo and James Kemler, Hedges Mcdonald, Dennos family and the many generous individuals who have sponsored State Theatre seats at $1,000 a piece, all new projection and sound has been installed in the State Theatre, and the entire building has been upgraded with new seats, a new lobby, new carpeting, a starry night ceiling, and the best popcorn around. Call the State Theatre Hotline at 231-947-4800 for showtimes, or visit the State Theatre web site to purchase tickets and for complete information.
What’s Showing Now?
BIJOU BY THE BAY
181 East Grandview Parkway
Renovated and opened in 2013, the Bijou by the Bay at the historic Con Foster Museum is a unique and wonderful place to see a movie. Located in Clinch Park on Traverse City’s waterfront, the Bijou by the Bay operates as a year-round community-based theater and sister screen to the State Theatre.
Learn more about the Bijou by the Bay here.
THE CITY OPERA HOUSE
112 1/2 E. Front St.
Constructed in 1891, the City Opera House is a remarkable community asset. In 1897 it was the first commercial building in Traverse City to make use of the electric light. For many years this Victorian theater was a center for the community. Closed in the mid-forties, it was re-opened in the mid-eighties after a diligent restoration campaign with the goal of creating a community cultural center for frequent and diverse public use. Updates completed during the past year include a new grand entrance and balcony seating.
Learn more about the City Opera House here.
THE OLD TOWN PLAYHOUSE
148 E. Eighth St.
The Old Town Playhouse is home to the Traverse City Civic Players, which was created in April 1960 to bring amateur theatre to northern Michigan. Located just three blocks from downtown Traverse City, the Old Town Playhouse season runs annually from fall through summer with a variety of productions. Performance areas include a 358-seat main stage auditorium and an 80-seat studio theatre.
Learn more about The Old Town Playhouse here.
LARS HOCKSTAD AUDITORIUM
301 W. Seventh St.
Located in the historic Traverse City Central Grade School, Lars Hockstad Auditorium is a year-round host to numerous professional and student stage productions and concerts for the Traverse City area, including the Traverse Symphony Orchestra and the annual Rotary Variety Show. Constructed in 1922 and renovated last year by the community matching a challenge grant from Michael Moore, with 750 (new and comfy) seats, Lars Hockstad is the festival’s largest indoor venue and a new favorite.
MILLIKEN AUDITORIUM AND DUTMERS THEATER
AT THE DENNOS MUSEUM CENTER
1701 E. Front St.
The Michael and Barbara Dennos Museum Center at Northwestern Michigan College is the region’s premier cultural center offering world class programming in the visual and performing arts. The museum offers a changing array of exhibitions in three galleries and a sculpture court; features a “hands on” Discovery Gallery; and a Gallery of Inuit art, the museum’s major permanent collection. The museum’s 367 seat Milliken Auditorium offers concerts in blues, jazz, chamber and world music and hosts the productions of numerous performing arts groups in the region.
Also inside Dennos, Dutmers Theater offers an fresh, intimate atmosphere for the festival. With only 35 seats, Dutmers is used to show educational films to school groups throughout the year. TCFF will use the space for documentary and experimental screenings with smaller audiences.
Learn more about the Dennos Museum Center here.
THE OPEN SPACE OUTDOOR CINEMA
Free Movies at the Open Space, corner of Union St. & Grandview Parkway
One of Traverse City’s most beautiful and versatile public gathering places, an ideal venue to enjoy an outdoor movie as well as the very best summertime fun northern Michigan has to offer.
1701 E. Front Street
Conveniently located just a few steps away from Milliken Auditorium, right on the festival loop, Scholars Hall at Northwestern Michigan College is host to this year’s expanded Film School. Twice daily Wednesday – Saturday during the festival, more than 130 people of all ages will learn together in one of Northern Michigan’s finest centers of learning.
Each day after select 12 noon and 3 pm Cinema Salon Series movies, filmmakers and moviegoers meet in Clinch Park for insightful discussions about the Cinema Salon movie selection. This is an opportunity to join fellow movie lovers to discuss what you’ve just seen and heard in an informal community, in-the-round format.
BRILLIANT BOOKS BOOKSTALL
112 1/2 E. Front St. in the City Opera House
Be sure to stop in to the City Opera House during the festival to visit the amazing selection of TCFF film related books set up by Brilliant Books, an independent book store in Suttons Bay.