THE CAPTAIN'S CORNER

THE GRAND PALACE OF EMERALD CITY
ArticleID: 83
Date: 8/13/2000
Written By: Captain Jackson

THE GRAND PALACE OF EMERALD CITY
by Captain Jackson

When we think of seeing a movie, we usually think of one of the theaters at the malls. But in the Emerald City we have one of the grandest "Movie Palaces" still in working existence today. It`s called the MICHIGAN THEATRE of JACKSON, Inc. and is located on Mechanic Street in Downtown Jackson.

This "relic from the past" is seventy years old and was saved from the wreaking ball by a group of wonderful people, now headed up by Claudia Bleil, Executive Director. It is the goal of this non-profit organization to totally restore this beautiful piece of memorabilia for all of the citizens of Jackson to enjoy!

The restoration work has been slow. The majority of funds for this project have been donated by businesses and private individuals. Just this year, the new Marquee was installed and lit up for the first time at a special ceremony. Soon after, the theater celebrated it`s seventieth birthday with a special live show which included local and regional celebrities and acts. The best part was they all performed simply for the honor of being able to contribute to the restoration of this wonderful palace. Attendance was around seven hundred, and many contributed extra donations once they realized what a beautiful gem we possess in our great Emerald City.

The theater manager is a man by the name of George Davis. He is a kid at heart with a love for the old movies. He even has an autographed photo of Detroit`s own BILL KENNEDY which he purchased at an auction.

It is up to George to see that everything runs smoothly. He also works very hard to promote the establishment. For example, all this summer the theater has been running bi-weekly "kids movies" matinees, for which he has been able to attract local celebrities to appear free gratis.

And the admission price is certainly worth the visit. For the kids movies the price was only $1.50. Another buck and a half got you a soda and box of popcorn! Not bad for cartoons, a live act and a recently released movie! Even the live events are far less expensive than one would expect to pay for the quality of talent the Michigan Theatre presents.

A great deal of the success of the Michigan has to do with the people who volunteer. As many people are aware, my daughter and I contribute much of our time to this organization. I`ve been asked, "does volunteering get you in to see the movies for free?" Well, yes it does. We could walk in any night and say, "Hey, George, mind if we see the show?" But volunteering gets us so much more.

It creates a purpose, a cause. It has given us the ability to contribute our extra energy toward a wonderful common goal. Now when we walk past and look at the Michigan Theatre, we know that part of us exists within its walls.

Anyone can become a volunteer at the Michigan. You don`t have to join a club, contribute dues or attend regular meetings. Just contact George Davis at (517) 783-0962 and tell him you`d like to help. Once you`re registered, you can even show up when you have a few minutes off and want to contribute! Any help will be greatly appreciated. And like us, you`ll feel great!

Copyright 2000, CFC


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