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The Michigan Theater Book -- goes on sale Tuesday, November 19 at Michigan Theater
The Michigan Theater has been featured in commercials, billboards, films, and even a music LP from the 1960s, but has never had its own book – until now. Dr. Henry Aldridge, an Eastern Michigan University film professor emeritus and theater scholar, has written a new full-color, photo-illustrated book that explores the first 80 years of the theater’s life and how it ties into the histories of Ann Arbor and film. He also includes key local figures from along the way: manager Gerry Hoag, organist Paul Tompkins, Ann Arbor mayor Lou Belcher, philanthropist Margaret Towsley and her daughter Judy Rumelhart, and the theater’s staff and volunteers. Aldridge has a deep connection to the Michigan Theater. In 1979, he and a group of other concerned citizens helped rescue the theater and its rare Barton organ from the wrecking ball. He continues to lead the theater’s organ program, give visitor tours, and teach a film appreciation course. Despite his extensive knowledge of the theater, Aldridge still spent three years immersed in the University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library archives, Michigan Theater Foundation meeting minutes, Ann Arbor News articles, and interviews with past and present staff members. “Unlike most histories of individual theaters,” Aldridge says, “this book is thoroughly researched, carefully documented, lavishly illustrated, but written in a style that general readers will find interesting and colorful.” A paperback edition of the book will be available for purchase starting the week of November 19 at the Michigan Theater, Nicola’s Books, Literati Bookstore, Bookbound Bookstore, Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tearoom, and Kaleidoscope Books & Collectibles. The Michigan Theater will also carry a limited edition hardcover and provide a discounted price to Michigan Theater members for both versions.