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State Theatre gets a face lift | Red tiles replaced with historically accurate ones

By Vanessa McCray

TRAVERSE CITY — The familiar red tiles that greet movie-goers at the State Theatre are coming down. A renovation project will replace the 1949 tiles with similar, historically accurate ones. The tiles clad the outside of the theater along East Front Street in downtown Traverse City. Water damage caused rotting and decay behind the tiles, and the State raised money to replace the facade. "Everything had to be custom. (We're) trying to match it in terms of the size, color," said Deb Lake, executive director of the Traverse City Film Festival which reopened the State for year-round use in 2007. "We're trying to get as close as we can using modern materials and methods but also want it to be water-tight." Facade work began this week and will take about two months to complete, Lake said. The theater will remain open throughout the project. Organizers hoped to finish the work before this summer's film festival, but it took time to get the project rolling. The State Theatre late last year launched a successful campaign that raised more than $500,000 for community programs and building repair, including the tile replacement.


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