|© Tabi Walters|
by Jeff Mortimer
"Historic theaters are kind of intrinsically romantic," says Russ Collins, executive director of the Michigan Theater. Maybe that's why eight to ten couples a year get married there.
The tab can range from $750 for a simple ceremony in the grand foyer to $5,000 and up for what Amanda Bynum, who's in charge of rentals, calls "the whole shebang": a ceremony followed by an evening reception in the auditorium, including dinner and DJ, for 100 or more guests.
"This is my thirtieth year, and I can't ever remember not doing weddings," says Collins; his own stepdaughter was married at the Michigan last New Year's Eve. "Theaters share a lot of characteristics with churches, synagogues, and mosques," he reflects. "You have seats, a stage area, and frequently music is incorporated as part of the ritual process.
"I guess the big difference is that we're not claiming to be sacred--and we don't have windows."
[Originally published in June, 2012.]
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