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Alger Theater Seeks Public Support for Restoration

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Photo via <a href="">Friends of the Alger Theater</a>
Photo via Friends of the Alger Theater

A group working to restore the Alger Theater into a movie house with a public mission is looking for crowd-sourcing help via Patronicity. The Friends of the Alger Theater campaign, aimed at restoring the Alger's audio-visual system will also help the theater get the equipment needed to show movies. New AV allows for live performances and large public meetings and events. To date, the project has raised over $17K of its $25K goal. If the theater reaches $25K, it will receive a matching grant for $25K from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The campaign also hopes to fund construction of a rooftop deck. They want to create a public patio to use as a venue for meetings, performances, live music and other special events. According to copy on the group's Patronicity page, the roof deck will be "The first public space of its kind on East Warren" and "will help anchor the neighborhood by making it more welcoming for residents and visitors."

The Morningside mainstay at the corner of Warren and Outer Drive was built by developers Saul and Hattie Sloan, who leased the theater to Detroit theater impresario George Washington Trendle. When the Alger opened in 1935, the art deco/streamline moderne building was state of the art—a true luxury cinema. It had new features theatergoers would grow to love over the next eighty years, including air conditioning.

The Alger operated for over 40 years, fell into disrepair for a time, and was sold to Friends of the Alger Theater in 1986. In June, the theater screened its first movie in more than 30 years, playing Young Frankenstein as part of a summer film series. With the planned improvements, movies at the Alger could be a regular thing. To receive the match, the theater needs to raise $25,000 by Sept 30.

·Alger Theater Screens its First Film in 30 Years [Metro Times]
·The Alger Theater: Restoring a Community Hub [Patronicity]
·Friends of the Alger Theater [Facebook]