Film Fest seeks public funding for heated sidewalk outside State Theatre

Jan 16, 2015

Actress Kristen Bell makes handprints for the Traverse City Film Festival's walk of fame.
Credit Traverse City Film Festival

The Traverse City Film Festival is asking for public money to help pay for a Hollywood-style “walk of fame” outside the State Theatre. The walk-of fame would feature concrete handprints of celebrities like Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and Matthew Modine.

To keep it accessible year-round, festival officials plan to install a heated sidewalk in front of the theatre. They’re asking the publicly-funded Downtown Development Authority to contribute $18,000 toward the effort.

Traverse City Mayor Michael Estes said that could set a bad precedent. 

“If we allow any business to receive … funding for heated sidewalks that should extend across the board for anyone who wanted them," said Estes. "That’s the decision the commission will have to address."

Estes says he would favor a broader policy that provides funding for any downtown business to heat their sidewalks.

The DDA Board of Directors was set to discuss the proposal at a meeting today.