Delta County couple restoring The Old Michigan

The Michigan Theater originally opened in the early 1900s.
The Michigan marquee.
The Michigan marquee.(WLUC)
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 3:46 PM EST
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Theater in downtown Escanaba has been empty since the 90′s. But now, one Delta County couple is working to restore the building.

Courtney and Steven Godfrey are renovating The Michigan Theater - restoring it to its opening day.

They bought the building two years ago but the theater’s history dates back to the early 1900′s when it was known as “The Strand Theater”.

“It got shut down in the 70′s but we also know that movies are still showing for a while after that,” said Courtney Godfrey, co-owner of The Old Michigan.

The Godfreys saw the building was for sale and called a realtor.

“We did the walk through and we fell in love with the building so we ended up just you know, this is something we really want to do,” said Courtney Godfrey.

So now, the couple is working to restore the building.

“The plan is to redo everything in here back to what it was before. We want the art deco in the auditorium,” said Courtney Godfrey.

The plan is to show movies from the 2000s or earlier and add something new.

“Expand the front lobby a little bit and turn it into an eighties arcade,” said Steven Godfrey, co-owner of The Old Michigan.

It’s a $1 million project and the goal is to have it open by 2026. T-shirts and sticker are for sale to help raise money.

“We will be having more merchandise available for sale throughout the next year so T-shirts, hoodies, hats,” said Steven Godfrey.

The couple will call it “The Old Michigan.”

“We just really think it be nice to have one of these vacant Main Street buildings repurposed into what it was before,” said Courtney Godfrey.

To donate to the project or purchase merchandise, click here.

“We’ve been to a lot of places and there’s no place like Escanaba, Michigan so we want to do whatever we can to make it even better than we already think it is,” said Steven Godfrey.

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