Traverse City News and Events

State Theatre And Bijou By The Bay To Reopen Friday

By Craig Manning | Nov. 16, 2021

More than 20 months after closing their doors due to the pandemic, the State Theatre and the Bijou by the Bay will both welcome audiences back starting this Friday, November 19.

Traverse City Film Festival (TCFF) Founder Michael Moore announced the reopening plans in an email on Tuesday evening, including an opening weekend slate of movie programming where admission at both theaters will be free.

The theaters will show a variety of beloved classic films throughout the weekend, including The Big Lebowski, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Dark Knight, The Social Network, Singin’ in the Rain, and Casablanca. Showtimes can be found online at stateandbijou.org, and tickets can be reserved via the website as well. Tickets will also be available at the theater box offices one hour before showtimes.

The State and Bijou website also lists the first new movies that the theaters will show since the start of the pandemic. Beginning at 7pm on Thanksgiving night, the State Theatre will show King Richard, a biographical drama film starring Will Smith as Richard Williams, the father of legendary tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams. That same evening, at 8pm, the Bijou will open with Belfast, a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age film from director Kenneth Branagh that tells the story of his childhood “during the tumult of the late 1960s in the Northern Ireland capital.”

In addition to the news of the reopening, Moore’s email also touted other developments for the theaters and the TCFF. The festival, he said, has paid off its “half million dollars worth of debts,” resolved the flooding issues in the basement of the State Theatre, and upgraded air circulation and air filtering systems at both theaters. He also noted that the TCFF has a new board and “a great new staff,” and that both will be introduced to the public “over the coming weeks.”

As Moore previously told The Ticker, both theaters will reopen with considerable COVID-19 restrictions in place. All attendees “must be fully vaccinated, fully masked,” and submit to temperature checks at the door. In addition, Moore wrote in his email that “for the time being, only about 25 percent of the seats will be in use to create the necessary social distancing.” The theaters will both have teams of “trained COVID safety personnel who will ensure compliance” with these new protocols.

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