Livingston County is lucky, indeed, to have the 90-year-old Historic Howell Theater still operating. It is, hands down, one of the coolest businesses in the area, and it needs a bit of help.
The theater, once shuttered, was reimagined and reopened five years ago as an entertainment hub — featuring independent films, live entertainment, private events, and even church services — under the direction of owner Tyler DePerro, who has put his heart and soul — and some serious cash — into the business and building.
Before opening, DePerro said he had to clean 6 inches of mud and sludge out of the basement before waterproofing it. He repaired the roof and gutters, renovated the interior, painted, installed new carpeting and flooring, reconfigured the concession area, fixed the mechanical systems, and installed new screens, digital projectors and surround sound.
The result has been a delightful, art-house-ish venue that shows both first-run and independent films, the kind Livingston County folks used to have to drive to Ann Arbor or Birmingham to see.
But the theater’s marquee — almost entirely dark — was in need of some “serious help,” according to DePerro.
A Kickstarter campaign was created, and the money to repair the marquee was raised in its first two hours.
The work funded is extensive. It will be a major overhaul of the marquee, including new transformers, neon repairs, and LED lighting.
DePerro is hoping to surpass the original goal with additional funding going toward the repair and rewiring of the theater’s six outdoor poster display cases, four of which are currently dark.
If you love the Historic Howell Theater, and if you value having an independent movie house in the heart of Livingston County, consider making a pledge. You could earn yourself a cool perk.