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Group Launches Campaign To Reopen Historic East Side Detroit Theater

DETROIT (WWJ) - The Michigan Economic Club has joined forces with The Friends of the Alger Theater, for a crowdfunding campaign to revitalize the historic theater on Detroit's east side.

"It's been closed since 1985, and our group — The Friends of the Alger Theater — since 1989 has been trying to preserve it and, in recent years, restore it and get it functioning again," said spokesman Mike Gentile.

Gentile said they've hit some major milestones recently — this summer showing movies in the theater for this first time in 30 years.

The Alger Theater is located in the heart of Detroit's East English Village, Morningside, Osborn and Cornerstone Village neighborhoods.

"You know, with some of the recent development going on in Detroit, the east side is often ignored," Gentile told WWJ's Chrystal Knight. "That's partly because — even though there's great homes over there and great places to live — there aren't a whole lot of entertainment possibilities."

The Alger Theater by mike gentile on Vimeo

If the community hits its crowdfunding goal of $25,000 by Sep. 30, the project will win a $25,000 matching grant with funds available thought the MEDC's Public Spaces Community Places program.

"Bringing the Alger Theater back to life would have a tremendous impact on the community, and we are proud to partner in this effort," said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki. "Public Spaces Community Places is a great resource for communities to help turn vision into reality."

Over $10,000 had already been raised for the project as of Thursday.

For more details or to donate, visit

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