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Check out renovations done at State Wayne

Phoenix Theatres State Wayne Vice President of Operations Tearis Ried and owner Cory Jacobson kick-back and relax in the new seats. Photo by John Rhaesa

By Sarah Shurge – “You would have a hard time finding another business that has survived nearly 80 years. State Wayne is part of the landscape of Wayne and of Michigan Ave,” said Cory Jacobson, Phoenix Theatres State Wayne owner.
The State Wayne Theater has been serving Wayne since 1946. Phoenix Theatres has been at State Wayne since 2012, and Jacobson bought the theater in 2014 from the City of Wayne.
“We got our new recliners 10 years ago, and it really changed the face of Phoenix Theatres,” said Jacobson. “But kinda like an old shoe that you like but it’s worn and you need to buy new shoes, the chairs really needed to be replaced. Ten years have gone by and it was time for new furniture.”
Phoenix Theatres State Wayne now has all brand new heated recliners with new sherpa material that should not deteriorate like the previous chair material did. There is new carpet in the theater. The seats now have light up numbers to see in the dark, which is something new. And the hallways have been redressed.
“It’s a complete refresh of State Wayne,” said Jacobson.
With about 340 seats in State Wayne, the theater has undergone well over a $300,000 renovation project.
“Other businesses or theaters, they come and go. When you have something like State Wayne that has stood the test of time for nearly 80 years, that’s really important,” said Jacobson. “Our goal is to maintain the building with wonderful repairs, to hand it on to the next generation of people, better than it was when I got it in 2014.”
Last year, Jacobson had the entire marquee changed to LED lighting. The old framework remains, however, the faces and electronics are new.
“It was an enormous step in the right direction. Now the marquee looks clean and preserved,” said Jacobson.
Jacobson crunched the numbers and as of the end of December 2023, the new LED lighting for the marquee saved $4,914 in energy costs.
The old seats had been sat in (as of December 2023) 689,479 times.
“Seats are very important to maintain,” said Jacobson. “When people come in, they are getting the best experience they can get.”
State Wayne customers can enjoy Dolby Digital in the auditorium, with ticket prices that haven’t changed in quite some time.
“We have been able to maintain ticket prices at an affordable price,” said Jacobson. “Five dollars to go to the movies, and $8.75 at night. It brings people to Wayne from outside of the community, and we do well with Rocky Horror Show.”
The Michigan Rocky Horror Preservation Society (MiRHPS) Shadow Cast performs the Rocky Horror Picture Show twice a month (every second and fourth Saturday of the month) at the State Wayne.
The night is full of costumes, lights, confetti cannons, squirt guns, and more. Each show is unique and different from the last.
“The idea came in 2012, because we have a stage and the right atmosphere that goes with the show. It’s not something you go watch in a mall shopping center. It’s suited well for the movie theater. The marquee outside also makes it really cool,” said Jacobson.
As of December 2023, 17,621 tickets were sold for the Rocky Horror Picture Show. “We have enjoyed 12 years of wonderful support from Wayne, and we’re looking forward to the next decade,” said Jacobson. “Hopefully these improvements will have people come and check us out.”
Phoenix Theatres State Wayne is located at 35310 W Michigan Ave.
For more information about Phoenix Theatres State Wayne, visit phoenixmovies.net/theatres/classic-state-wayne/003 or call (734)326-4602. Tickets are available after downloading the mobile app, at phoenixmovies.net, or at the box office in the theater lobby.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of State Wayne or Walter Shafer’s journey to creating the State Wayne, visit phoenixmovies.net/history/state-wayne. Jacobson had a team spend much of 2016 (for State Wayne’s 70th anniversary) obtaining a collection of photographs and compiling the history of State Wayne from the past seven decades.
“If you have any photos or stories about the State Wayne that you’d like to share, stop on the website to submit,” said Jacobson. “There’s still more history to tell.”

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