Oleson Foundation Commits Additional $150,000 to Renovate and Reopen Vogue Theatre

MANISTEE, MICHIGAN – The Oleson Foundation has committed $150,000 to restore and reopen the historic Vogue Theatre in downtown Manistee, bringing their total contribution to $200,000. In tribute to their generosity, the new 44-seat theatre in the Vogue will be named “The Oleson Family Theatre.”

“Now let’s get the Theatre open so we can pack the house at the first movie showing this December,”said Marty Watts, granddaughter of the Oleson Food Stores founders and member of the Oleson Foundation board. “This will be one of the finest movie houses in the country in the center of Manistee’s downtown. All of us will enjoy the terrific entertainment that the all new Vogue will provide.”

“In making this grant, the Oleson family recognizes the significance of the Vogue to families and children throughout Manistee county that currently have no movie theater,” said Kathy Huschke, Executive Director of the Oleson Family Foundation. “We agree that the Theatre will change the market dynamics of the City’s downtown and be a catalyst for expanding and attracting businesses and jobs. The Vogue is a game changer for Manistee and we are proud to contribute to the final push to complete the capital campaign and begin showing films at the Vogue as part of Manistee’s Sleighbell Parade this winter.”

“We cannot begin to express our thanks and appreciation to the Oleson Foundation and the Oleson Family,” said Beth Wallace, coordinator of Fund Development for the Vogue. “Thousands upon thousands of movie goers that will pack Manistee’s downtown are the recipients of their good works as are the current and existing merchants in our downtown.”

With this contribution, Wallace said that $1.9 million has been secured toward the $2.4 million required to complete the Theatre this year. The goal is to have the grand opening of the Theatre during the December 6-8, 2013 Sleighbell Parade festival that attracts thousands to the City.

“We are well along with the restoration work,” said Wallace. “People who want to see the progress can call me at 231-723-4325 to schedule a tour. It’s inspirational to see the rebirth of the Theatre that will benefit generations of Manistee residents and visitors.”

Gerald and Frances Oleson began the Oleson Foundation in 1962 to perform “good works” in northwestern Michigan. The first Oleson’s grocery store opened in Traverse City in 1926. Today, there are Oleson Stores in Manistee, two in Traverse City and in Charlevoix and Petoskey. The company offers an outstanding selection of locally grown produce and locally-made food products in addition to a fully grocery line.

The grant was secured by the Alliance for Economic Success and will be awarded to the Manistee County Community Foundation that administers a restoration fund on behalf of the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee, the nonprofit charged with reopening the Theatre.