Ann Arbor's State Theatre seeks license to sell alcohol to movie-goers – MLive.com

ANN ARBOR, MI – When the newly renovated State Theatre opens in downtown Ann Arbor, movie-goers will notice many changes, including new theater rooms, more comfortable seats and much more.

As part of an expanded concession area, something else new is expected on tap: alcoholic beverages.

The City Council voted 10-0 Thursday night, Aug. 10, to recommend approval of a liquor license for the 75-year-old movie house on State Street, which is undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation.

The theater’s request for a liquor license now heads to the Michigan Liquor Control Commission for final approval.

“We looked at it and thought over the long term that would probably be a good thing,” said Russ Collins, executive director of the Michigan Theater, which owns and operates the State Theatre, explaining the decision to seek a license to sell alcohol to movie-goers.

“It is a strategic direction that a lot of movie theaters are taking and it certainly is the strategic direction that art centers are taking. If you go to New York, every Broadway theater has a liquor license.”

A new and improved State Theatre — with its original art deco look restored — is expected to reopen sometime later this fall.
A tour of Ann Arbor’s State Theatre now undergoing massive renovation
The city determined the theater meets the statutory requirements for a development district liquor license, which under state law can be purchased for a fee of $20,000 by establishments that spend at least $75,000 on the rehabilitation or restoration of a building in a designated development district such as downtown Ann Arbor.

Between improvements at the Michigan Theater and a major overhaul of the State Theatre, millions are being spent.

Collins noted the Michigan Theater already has a club liquor license that allows members to purchase alcohol. He said the license the State

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