Downtown Alpena is home to northeast Michigan’s only year-round professional theater, Thunder Bay Theatre (400 N. Second Ave). Housed in a hundred-year-old building,Thunder Bay Theatre provides both professional performances and educational programming all year round, utilizing a professional core company augmented with community talent.

Highlights of TBT’s season include:

>Musicals in the summer season

>A Shakespeare production each fall

>A production featuring Alpena High School’s Masquers Club each winter

>A Great American Play each spring

>Late night cabaret’s throughout the year at downtown venues

What’s showing now? Visit here for more information: http://www.thunderbaytheatre.com/


Downtown Alpena is home to the historic State Theater (206 N. Second Ave), which is owned and operated by AMC Theatres. Show times can be found here: https://www.amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/alpena-mi

Love film? Many other film events happen throughout the year, including:

Summer Movies by the Bay, free outdoor movie screenings at the Alpena Band Shell during the summer

Sunrise 45 Film Festival, an independent film festival in August which features screenings and art events at various downtown venues

Thunder Bay International Film Festival, an ocean and lake related festival organized through Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary 




The following art galleries and studios are located in downtown Alpena:

Thunder Bay Arts Council & Gallery (visual and fine arts, year-round concerts and programming)

Art in the Loft (visual and fine arts, art workshops, culinary classes, event space)

My Glass Wings (stained glass studio)

Forty-Five North Art Gallery (glassworks and visual arts)

Travelling Ladders (visual arts)


Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary

Alpena, Michigan is home to Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (TBNMS), the only freshwater Marine Sanctuary in the world. TBNMS protects a nationally significant collection of historic shipwrecks. Through resource protection, research, and education, TBNMS works to ensure that future generations will continue to value our irreplaceable underwater treasures.

Visit the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, located at 500 W. Fletcher Street in downtown Alpena, which is the visitor center for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, featuring exciting exhibits for all ages. Exploring the Shipwreck Century is located in the center’s main hall and includes a full-size replica wooden Great Lakes schooner and shipwreck where visitors can walk the decks, feel a Great Lakes storm, and touch the massive timbers of the boat resting on the lake bottom … without getting wet! For more information, visit https://thunderbay.noaa.gov/maritime/glmhc.html.

The glass-bottom boat, Lady Michigan, also operates out of the visitor center and offers cruises through Thunder Bay to learn more about the maritime history and shipwrecks of Alpena. To learn more about Alpena Shipwreck tours, visit http://www.alpenashipwrecktours.com/