A second screen would give the State Theatre more flexibility. It could then hold over popular movies and also show blockbuster first releases not allowed at the State Theatre due to deed restrictions from a previous owner.
The commission instructed Bifoss to make sure the lease allows for public use of the building; identifies what fixtures and assets would remain, and addresses the floor issue.
Commissioner Jeanine Easterday cautioned staff not to feel pressured into accommodate the Film Festival when negotiating details of the lease.
“I really support this, 98 percent, ... but 2 percent of me is concerned,” Easterday said. “We’ve had some experience with the Traverse City Film Festival that at times we can be bullied.”
The Film Festival is collaborative, said John Robert Williams, a board member and co-founder of the festival.
“We will not do anything to disrespect the building and you will be amazed when we are done,” he said.