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ⓘ State Wayne Theater. The State Wayne Theater is a motion picture theater located in Wayne, Michigan at 35310 Michigan Avenue. The multi-screen movie house is ow ..



State Wayne Theater
                                     

ⓘ State Wayne Theater

The State Wayne Theater is a motion picture theater located in Wayne, Michigan at 35310 Michigan Avenue. The multi-screen movie house is owned and operated by Phoenix Theaters and operates 3 screens which show first-run movies and a live performance stage.

                                     

1. History

The idea to build a new theater in Wayne was underway as early as 1940 by Walter Shafer and his family, owners of the nearby Wayne Theater which operated from 1927-51. Plans were drawn up land was bought, but with the outbreak of World War II the construction was put on hold. The theater -- built of fireproof brick and cinder block -- was finally completed in 1946 with a modern art deco design, featuring a single 1.500 seat auditorium.

In 1964, the theater underwent a $75.000 upgrade, replacing carpets, seats and upholstery. The lobby and theater were given a modern-Asian theme, complete with a fountain and lamps from India, and the famous Dragon Murals, painted by Dutch artist Anton Mom. At some point, the theater was divided into two screens. By the late 1970s, however, the theater was doing poorly due to competition from suburban multiplexes.

In 1977, the theater closed, and was leased to the Michigan Opry who planned to hold live music events in the space. The live music plan folded after a few years and in 1980 the theater re-opened charging just 99 cents per ticket. Finally, in 1986, the Shafer family who had owned and operated the State Wayne for decades sold the theater to National Amusements, who promptly closed it. In 1991, the city of Wayne stepped in and, using over $500.000 in downtown development authority funds, purchased and restored the State Wayne. Dividing the theater into three screens and a live stage, the theater was successfully operated by the city until 2012.

                                     

2. Current Operations

Phoenix Theaters took over management of the city-owned theater in August 2012. In their first year of management, attendance was up 20 percent over the prior year and the operators were honored by the Wayne Chamber of Commerce as Waynes "Business of the Year" for 2013. Phoenix officially bought the State Wayne outright in September 2014 and made further renovations, including 100 percent reclining seating and Christie digital projectors and 7.1 Dolby Digital sound in every auditorium. The re-dubbed Phoenix State Wayne Theater is also the home of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show Experience," with Waynes live shadow cast - The Michigan Rocky Horror Preservation Society on the second and forth Saturday of every month.

                                     

3. The Mural

The side of the State Wayne Theatre features the large, hand-painted "Wayne History Mural", which covers the majority of the east wall of the theater. The mural panels are painted in shades of the creme brick color to create the illusion that they are ornamental carvings used in art-deco architecture. This painting style is called," Trompe L’oeil.”

The mural depicts Wayne through four categories:

  • People, Pride and Progress
  • Community Life
  • Industrial Growth
  • A Road Runs Through It

The idea of creating public art was developed during Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s" Cool Cities” initiative in 2003, which led to the Wayne City Council forming the 2020 Committee. The Wayne History Mural painted by David Fichter and Joshua Winer, with help from Anthony Ivezaj was dedicated on October 16, 2007 and re-dedicated on October 28, 2008 following the completion of additional panels.

                                     
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