Sometimes it’s the details that can make all the difference.
In the midst of a record-breaking summer box office season, the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee, the non-profit organization that owns and operates the Vogue Theatre in Downtown Manistee, pulled the trigger on multiple different yet simultaneous enhancement projects at the historic art-deco cinema.
“These are enhancements that we’ve really been looking forward to,” says Travis Alden, Executive Manager at the Vogue. “We had planned for some of these since the beginning, and it all goes toward creating a great ‘Vogue experience’ for our patrons.”
Last week a crew from Major Theatre Inc., an industry-leading cinema installation firm hailing from Boston, returned to the Vogue to install a grand waterfall curtain in the larger ‘Pure Michigan’ theatre, a new ‘micro-perf’ screen in the ‘Oleson Family’ theatre and motorized masking curtains in both auditoriums.
“The waterfall curtain – made of a heavyweight suede fabric – harkens back to the movie houses of yesteryear,” says Tony Dziabuda, House Manager at the Vogue. “It really completes the art deco ambiance of the theatre.”
Clara Kahle, a volunteer and frequent patron at the Vogue, echoes that sentiment.
“It’s fantastic. The curtain really sets the stage and makes it feel even more special going to the Vogue,” she smiles. “My husband and I have been involved since the beginning of the renovation project and volunteer weekly. It feels great that improvements continue to be made.”
According to Frank Greco, President of the non-profit organization that owns and operates the Vogue, this is the latest step in the revitalization of the theatre.
“It brings us near the final completion of the physical rehabilitation of the building,” he says. “The curtains are not only an impressive addition to the décor of the theatre, but enhance the viewing experience as well.”
In addition to the red waterfall curtain, motorized black masking curtains are also new additions, which are used to frame the projected image of each film on the screen.
“Not all films are finished in the same aspect ratio, meaning how much of the screen’s width they fill,” points out Marty Yaple, the Vogue’s Technical Manager. “The masking really draws the viewer’s eyes to the picture. No longer is the image ‘floating’ on the screen. It’s awesome.”
The final piece of the recent install is a new screen in the Vogue’s smaller auditorium, the Oleson Family Theatre. The screen is a significant upgrade due to the type of screen it is, says Alden.
“Movie screens have very small holes, or perforations, in them so allow for airflow and for sound to come through, since the subwoofer, center, left and right channel speakers are mounted behind the screen,” explains Alden.
The Vogue upgraded their screen in that theatre to a micro-perforation screen, meaning the holes are much smaller than normal. “They’re essentially invisible to the audience, which makes for a crisper and more enjoyable viewing experience.” Alden says.
Two area businesses in particular helped make the upgrades possible. Alliance Beverage Distributing contributed significantly to the upgrade, and a recent grant from the Chemical Bank Foundation allowed the project to move forward this summer.
“We are proud to have been a part of the continued revitalization of the Vogue Theatre and the impact it’s having on downtown and the entire Manistee community,” says Michael McKeough, Sales Manager at Alliance Beverage. “Our company is all about providing a great product, and these new additions at the theatre make the Vogue’s ‘product’ that much better.”
Greco also emphasized the Vogue’s place in the Manistee community, saying “We know that those who have enjoyed films here since our December 2013 reopening will appreciate these great additions, and hope that those who have yet to visit the Vogue will attend a movie soon to see what a gem it has become for Downtown Manistee.”
Details continue to make a positive difference for the Vogue and its patrons, emphasizes Alden.
“We are constantly striving to make the ‘Vogue Experience’ something that is fun and memorable at a great value,” he says. “It’s really about making going to the movies an event. The beautifully-lit curtain slowly rising as a beautiful, crisp picture starts in a comfortable, historic atmosphere resonates with people, and creates memories. We are very proud of that.”
The Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee is a 501c3 non-profit organization governed by a local board of directors. Aside from a small management staff, the Vogue is run by volunteers who give of their time and talents to bring the best and biggest movies to Manistee and have a positive impact on the community. The $2.6 Million rehab project was funded by private donations and public grants, and the Vogue is diligently working to retire the remaining $700,000 of construction debt. To find out how to volunteer or donate to the Vogue, see www.voguetheatremanistee.org.