Michigan Theatre of Jackson asking community to buy seats

Posted at 8:28 AM, Jul 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-07 11:32:51-04

The renovation at a historic theatre in Mid-Michigan continues, and the community is now being asked to pitch in. All you have to do is buy a seat.

The renovation of the 86-year old Michigan Theatre in Downtown Jackson is well underway. The theatre is in need of new seats and hopes the community will help out by buying a new seat for $50 each.

The current seats are old and cramped. The folks working to restore the old theatre say the new seats will make a big difference.

Executive Director Steve Tucker tells me they are bringing in about 1,000 seats, purchased from a movie theatre near Chicago. The chairs are lightly used and feature cup holders, more leg room and are six to eight inches wider. Tucker says they are more comfortable and much safer.

Tucker says about 750 chairs are arriving Monday, but no installation date has been set just yet.

So far, the community has bought over 100 chairs, so the theatre is about 900 chairs away from its goal.

Each chair costs about $28 to deliver, and including costs for installation and the painting and resurfacing of the floor, the theatre may lose about $7 per chair. But, Tucker tells me that is worth it to get the theatre in good shape.

Everyone who purchases a chair will have their name engraved on a plaque.

Renovations are really moving forward at the Michigan Theatre. The lobby and concessions area have been restored to their former glory. Plumbing and other "behind the scenes" projects are complete.

However, Tucker says plaster issues on the ceiling still need to be addressed. The ceiling suffered water damaged in 1992 and it will likely cost about $575,000 to repair, according to Tucker.

But, the theatre is fully up and running, hosting 349 events last year.

If you would like to help this Jackson icon back on its feet, click on the link in this story, or visit