Michael Moore supports Manistee's Vogue Theatre project

Michael Moore to Champion Vogue Theatre Revitalization

Michael Moore supports Manistee's Vogue Theatre project

Manistee, Michigan – Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore will make the revitalization of Manistee’s Vogue Theater his first target for expanding his Statewide “State Theatre Project.”

Moore will champion a community-driven effort to restore and reopen the 72-year-old theatre located in the heart of the City of Manistee at 383 River Street. The Vogue Theater Project follows on the heels of the successful State Theatre Project that has been instrumental in the economic revitalization of downtown Traverse City.

“The people of Manistee are about to see what a popular, thriving movie palace can do for their downtown,” said Moore. “They will return the Vogue to being the crown jewel of Manistee. We will turn on the Vogue’s marquee lights, bring in some jobs, pump money into the economy and do it with a nonprofit venture staffed mostly by volunteers. The Vogue will show first-run movies plus documentaries, foreign films, kids movies and classic — something for everyone. The Vogue will be Manistee’s new town square.”

Moore explained that the Vogue perfectly fits the profile for his State Theatre Project, a nonprofit endeavor he’s funding to help replicate throughout the State of Michigan following his success with Traverse City’s State Theatre. Moore said, “It’s a wonderful, iconic theatre in the center of a downtown and the community is behind the revitalization and prosperity of both. This will provide the spark for the continued resurgence of Manistee and will serve as a model for other small, aspiring communities throughout the nation.”

As with the State Theatre, Moore said that restoration and start up of The Vogue will be conducted entirely through a grassroots effort by the people of the Manistee area. Donations of money, time and materials from the community is what will bring the Vogue back to life. “No one else is going to make this happen unless the people of Manistee want it done. That’s what I learned in Traverse City “

Moore said that no more than “a half dozen generous benefactors from the area need to write a check to breathe life into the Vogue. And if they write that check, I will, too.”

“The State Theatre was gutted and rebuilt from scratch in just six weeks,” recalls Moore. “Once four financially-blessed individuals wrote their checks, then 200 people in town rolled up their sleeves and got to work. It was a force that couldn’t be stopped. Six weeks later, the Governor was cutting the ribbon on opening night.”

“So I’m encouraging everyone to consider making gifts of money, time and expertise to bring the Vogue back to life,” Moore said. “And I’ll ask our new Governor to be here with me on opening night this August.”

The City of Manistee’s Main Street Program/Down Development Authority (DDA) recently purchased the Vogue to ensure that its redevelopment reflected the vision, feel and look of the City’s downtown. The DDA is partnering with the Alliance for Economic Success to form “The Vogue Theatre Project” nonprofit organization that will coordinate restoration of the building. Moore will advise with fundraising, and will help guide the renovation “so that it has the top visual and acoustic standards we’ve become accustomed to at the State Theatre. If George Lucas – whose Skywalker Ranch does the sound for all my movies – ever comes to the Vogue, he will feel like he’s right at home,” Moore said.

Moore has also volunteered his time for the first two years to be the Vogue’s programming advisor, helping to guarantee that the theatre will get “only the best of what Hollywood and indie filmmakers have to offer.”

Companies and individuals interested in donating resources, time and expertise for the project should contact Jami Schneider, Alliance for Economic Success, 1361 US 31 South, Manistee, MI 49660; 231-723-4325; or at jami@allianceforeconomicsuccess.com.