Prior to 2008, the building had fallen into great disrepair over the previous 20 years, including a failed steam boiler heating system allowing only for summer operation. In June of 2008 the Garden was purchased by a group of community members with the intent of renovating the building and giving life back to this northern Michigan treasure.
After a few bandages were applied during the summer months, the Garden Theater closed for extensive renovations in October 2008. Throughout the winter and spring an incredible transformation took place and on June 18, 2009 the Garden Theater re-opened with great fanfare.
A new state of the art heating and cooling system was added, the sound system updated to Dolby 5 channel digital, new theater seats from Irwin Seating in Grand Rapids were installed and the entire theater entrance area was restored to its original Art Deco brilliance.
The Renaissance of the Garden continues thanks to hundreds of volunteer hours, seat investors, and the incredible spirit of the local community! An army of volunteer painters tackled the incredible task of replicating the damaged Art Deco ceiling tiles. Special thanks to John Vinkemulder, Peggy Hawley, Mary Armstrong, and Lynn Petti for their leadership on the restoration project.