The first moving picture, which depicted a horse running at full gallop, was quickly enhanced by the first special effects, which showed a horse exploding next to a 3-D spaceship. Enjoy advances in film with today's Groupon: for $15, you get five admissions for one movie and a popcorn bucket with a refill at The Michigan Theatre in Jackson (up to a $43.50 value).
Opened in 1930, The Michigan Theatre is an iconic fixture of downtown Jackson, serving as an ornate monument to the silver screen's rich history and entertaining generations with movies and live performances. Timeless classics, kids’ flicks, art films, and modern blockbusters flit across the large screen, providing groups of five a cinematic backdrop for family outings or a romantic evening for two double dates and a fifth wheel. The buttery aroma of a bucket of fresh popcorn courts olfactory senses, and a complimentary refill is a timely excuse for vain suitors to fix a misbehaving pompadour in the lobby.
Outside, the huge multitasking marquee simultaneously announces showtimes and greets customers entering the elegant, Spanish-style foyer. Stained-glass lighting fixtures cast a detergent-resistant glow across the timeless artwork and golden pillars that adorn the lobby and promenade, and handcrafted plasterwork and a terra-cotta façade transport patrons back to the golden age of cinema without the use of plutonium-guzzling time machines.
The Michigan Theatre of Jackson
A glittering, two-story marquee and Spanish-style terra-cotta façade extols the Michigan Theatre of Jackson's 82-year history to anyone who passes. Established in 1930, the theater originally presented movies and vaudeville shows to the public, who viewed the spectacles from the lower level or balcony seated between gilded columns under an ornate plaster ceiling. Though the entertainment industry continued to evolve, the Michigan Theatre retained much of its lavish, vintage charm—including rich, damask draperies, stained-glass light fixtures, and WWII-era Pac-Man machines—until it closed down in 1978. The historical theater was acquired in 1993 by a nonprofit organization, which reopened the theater's doors and restored the building to its current state.
Today, the entertainment hub hosts classic and art-house films as well as live theater and concerts. In the first-floor lobby, an old-fashioned candy counter sells sweets and popcorn to make sure audiences have something to throw at the screen during midnight screenings of Chinatown.