GTPulse: The State Theatre Keeps Locals Entertained with Community Art Project and More

Being home all the time has enhanced the depth of my daydreaming. Before quarantine, I daydreamt about going on long trips to exotic places and spending a night or three out dancing. Now I daydream about having black coffee and pancakes in a diner, and what it felt like to watch a movie in a theater as opposed to my couch. Daydreaming about everyday life indulgences is easy to do when the local State Theatre is such a dreamy place as is. There are plenty of ways to be included in their magic while in quarantine.

“We’ve gotten everything from graphic designers who submitted Wash Your Hands or Fight COVID posters to people sharing photos of chalk art they did or paintings that they’ve done during the crisis. Inspirational quotes or messages, it can really be anything,” said Meg Weichman, creative director for Traverse City Film Festival.

The poster submissions are for a community art project being hosted at the theatre. Because there are no movies running at the moment, the typically full movie poster case was empty. As a way to keep the case full, the theatre asked for submissions from locals to provide a little color, hope and inspiration.

“We’ve got plenty of space left and we want to fill all the poster cases out front. Whether you created the artwork digitally or if you didn’t you can take a snapshot of it and send it to us at We have a professional in-house printer, so once there are enough submissions we’ve been having someone go into the closed theatre to print the new submissions so there’s no contact involved.”

It’s also important to note that no contact has to be involved to look at the local artwork, either. The State Theatre’s social media is regularly sharing pictures of the updated cases with new artwork, however, if you’re on a safe, socially distanced stroll downtown you’ll be able to see them too.

“We’re looking for messages of resilience and hope and beauty to share with our community. I would love to see a poster done in the style of a movie poster, but it can be a simple drawing or watercolor, It can be something your kids do. I enjoy seeing what people have come up with and what they’re working on at home, and this is just an avenue to display it for the community.”

The State Theatre also launched a Stub Hunt last week.

“A lot of people are at home doing Spring cleaning going through old mementos. We’re looking to see who can find the oldest State Theatre ticket stub. So far we haven’t had anything before 2006 and the State opened in ‘49. One person actually submitted a skirt they made from stubs.”

They’re also hosting an at-home virtual cinema where they’re providing new release films that when rented through the State or Bijou website it’s the same as purchasing a ticket from the theatre.

“The proceeds support us in this time of closure. We’ve been adding films every Friday trying to maintain that sense of Friday new releases and we have a great lineup of films, including some favorites from the TCFF last summer.”

The films available aren’t available through any other streaming service, only through local, independent theatres.

Even stripped of its ability to show movies, the State Theatre is still engaging with the local community and remains as whimsical as ever. I think we’ll all have a new appreciation for watching movies at the theatre after all of this, I know I will.

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Categories: GTPulse