On October 15th, 1938, Warner Brothers opened The State Theatre as a test market for new films. The state-of-the-art cinema was built in record-time — just four months — for a whopping $70,000. It offered patrons four different flicks each week. General admission was 30 cents for matinees, 35 cents after 5pm, and children’s tickets cost just 15 pennies.
Unfortunately, as the years progressed, the theatre lost its glamour. Gone was the lush theatre with its silk wall fabrics and sweeping balcony, and gone was its place in the community. Doors closed in 2001, indicating the end of an era, and very possibly, the end of The State.
Thankfully, by 1999, some dedicated community members had already envisioned a new life for the dilapidated theatre: an arts performance center, owned and operated by the community. Local groups would have a home stage, and citizens would be able to enjoy diverse music and theatre in an intimate setting. The State Theatre had the potential to revitalize the downtown, expose a range of people to artists both national and international, and bring additional income into the community.
The State Theatre is a community-owned non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Centre County region. We’re a mainstay of the State College community and a proud hub of local culture, featuring artists both homegrown and nationally renowned.
There’s something for everyone at The State Theatre, from high drama to children’s musicals, from rock ’n’ roll to live broadcasts of the Met. There’s rarely a day without a show to be seen, a concert to be heard, or a laugh to be had.