Michael Moore addresses Vogue Theatre supporters

Vogue Theatre Project Begins

Michael Moore addresses Vogue Theatre supporters

Manistee, Michigan – Ignited by the call to action, inspiration and pledge of assistance from Academy-Award film maker Michael Moore, the Vogue Theatre Project is off and running.

On February 9, Moore announced that he would join forces with the community to champion the restoration and reopening of the 72-year old Vogue Theatre, his first target for expanding his Statewide State Theatre Project.

Under an agreement with the Manistee Main Street/Downtown Development Authority (MSDDA), the Alliance for Economic Success (AES), a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, has formed the Vogue Theatre Project. Through grass-roots, community activism, the Project will restore the theatre through an effort staffed mostly by volunteers and backed through the charitable donations of money, time and expertise with a pledge of assistance from Moore and his State Theatre team.

Cyndy Fuller, Executive Director of the AES, said that a Vogue Theatre Leadership Team is being formed to guide the project and assume hands-on roles for organizing volunteers, donor development and assisting with the restoration process. Fuller said that the greater Manistee community is rising to Moore’s challenge and vow to “return the Vogue to being the crown jewel of Manistee.”

“Within 72 hours of Michael’s appearance in Manistee, 85 families volunteered to pitch in and work in addition to a large number of individuals and businesses,” Fuller said. “We’ve received messages pledging help from all parts of the United States – from Florida to California and people have begun to donate funds following Michael’s personal donation of $10,000. We’ve also had several companies contact us to pledge and donate their time to take on specific restoration projects. We believe that everyone, including residents, businesses, civic organizations, trade associations and students, will rise to this rare opportunity and challenge to reclaim, reopen and sustain our wonderful downtown theater.”

Fuller said that the following actions are or will be underway soon.

  • Formation of a 20-25 member Leadership Team composed of diverse community members with skills and expertise to guide the Project and assume hands-on Project responsibilities.
  • Creation of a project web site.
  • The dissemination of a request for proposals that will seek the donation time and expertise of a lead architect and contractor that will help oversee the restoration. The preliminary estimate is that about $1 million will be needed to reopen the theater through volunteerism and the donation of materials and time from contractors.
  • A Theatre Restoration Fund, in partnership with the Manistee County Community Foundation
  • The creation of a Vogue Volunteer Corps and a Vogue Contractor Corps that will work together to complete the restoration.
  • A public relations effort to ensure that all interests are kept informed of the restoration process and plans
  • Formation of a new nonprofit organization that will assume responsibility for the restoration project.

The Vogue Theatre was recently purchased by the MSDDA following a feasibility study that demonstrated the facility should be restored. Moore’s February 9 announcement to help champion the restoration included a pledge to serve as advisor on programming, fundraising and the restoration to ensure that The Vogue has “the top visual and acoustic standards and the best of what Hollywood and indie filmmakers have to offer.”

Individuals or organizations wanting to volunteer or receive more information about The Vogue Theatre Project should contact the AES at (231) 723-4325 or jami@allianceforeconomicsuccess.com.