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FARMINGTON, MI-This city’s purchase and renovation of the 60-year-old Civic Theatre has earned it accolades from the Michigan Municipal League. The move won first place in the general category of the MML’s 2001 Achievement Awards competition.

The small city bought the downtown theater from owner Greg Hohler for $615,000, saving it from demolition and retail development.

Preserving the Civic’s historic architecture and décor, renovations were completed in the original “art-deco” design. The city council authorized purchase of the Civic, citing downtown economic development,historical preservation and maintaining an affordable, family-oriented entertainment venue.

A residents’ committee aided the renovation, selecting theatre memorabilia/artifacts and creating a permanent display with vintage photographs, original pay phone booth and the theatre’s original movie projector. The community supported the purchase and renovation expense decisions, and has further supported this “community jewel” with steadily increasing patronage of the theatre.

The Michigan Municipal League recognized twelve Michigan communities for their outstanding local government projects.

The Michigan Municipal League, organized in 1899, is the Michigan association of cities and villages.

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