|Address:||130 W College Ave, State College, PA 16801, USA|
The State Theatre opened on the 7th of June 1929. The Theatre was the vision of Stuart Doyle, owner of Union Theatres and the esteemed architect Henry White. It was to be seen as “The Empire’s Greatest Theatre” and was designed as a picture palace when such monuments to movies were at their grandest and most spectacular. During its first week patrons were offered “entertainment of unparalleled magnificence”. The opening night’s performance featured noted bandleader Will Prior who was described in the programme as a conductor capable of lifting “jazz to perfection in a sublime miscellany of melodious rhythm”. The first of countless motion pictures to be shown at the State Theatre was “The Patriot” accompanied by Price Dunlavy billed as a “debonair genius” playing the mighty Wurlitzer organ. Other attractions included Australia’s leading soprano Rene Maxwell & the State Beauty Ballet billed as “a beauty bevy with amazing ability”. After providing an outlet and a venue for entertainment during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the next decade saw the spectre of World War return. Leading up to and during the war, patrons were able to view the latest news via the theatre’s regular screenings of the Movietone news-reels. The State played its part by continuing to provide an escape for all those directly and indirectly involved in the conflict. They thrilled to golden celluloid stars such as Cary Grant , Ronald Colman and Joan Crawford. Post 1945 , the State once again became the place where Sydneysiders came to play. This decade saw the dawning of Australia’s multicultural society with the first wave of post war immigration. Increasing affluence and economic stability fuelled the rapid expansion of new outer lying suburbs and helped to create the so-called “baby-boom” generation. As television was far from an everyday reality, people lived for live & film entertainment and the State was the place to be. A new generation of Hollywood and local stars had arisen during this decade. Film attractions appearing in this decade included James Stewart in “Bend of the River” and Virginia McKenna staring in an adaptation of Neville Shute classic book “A Town Like Alice”. The 1960’s saw Australia in a period of radical change reflected in the growth of pop culture and increasing opposition to the Vietnam conflict, which mirrored social upheaval around the globe. In times of change, people often look to entertainment as a release and again the State Theatre provided the outlet. The changing times are reflected in the films on offer which in 1960 included Yul Bryner in “Once More with Feeling” whilst by 1969 the sexual farce “Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happines” was being shown. The growing of permissiveness in 1970’s Australian society and the rejection of more “traditional” values is seen in the anti censorship demonstrations surrounding the film “Medium Cool”. In 1974, the State Theatre became the home of the prestigious Sydney Film Festival and has continued to play host to this event for two weeks in June, each subsequent year. The 1980s are often described as an unremarkable decade, best remembered for the Rubik’s Cube and the rise of arcade games. This decade saw the State Theatre return to its more traditional roots with numerous live acts & musical theatre performances gracing its doors. The State Theatre has long been at the forefront of Sydney’s artistic and cultural life, the theatre is also responding to the changing needs and demands of its commercial patrons.
A Private User
best spot in town to see a band, a real band, not a cover band like you will see in 99% of the bars in town...its setup like an old playhouse so there isnt much room to dance most people just get down in their row or in the isle. i applaud them for trying to get a lot of different artists in. keeps things interesting for a local like myself ;) just saw Yonder Mountain here, that place was hopping, crazy energy in there when its sold out
I love the State Theatre. Its wonderful to have a local place that hosts various live shows, theatrical productions, as well as showing independent films. I dont live in State College anymore, but Im not too terribly far away, and Ill frequently make trips to attend a performance or film screening.
Saw Every Time I Die here. It was a raucous good time. Im not 22 anymore and Im not a fan of getting into the largely active crowd at punk shows, but there was plenty of room to sit back and watch kids act like lunatics and hear a great band. Love this place.
Wonderful theater! I went here for a "come and play" music event. It was held in an odd little room up stairs but it was still very nice. The theater was cleanly and visually appeasing and the staff was very knowledgeable and kind.
A fantastic theatre, that represents the last of the dying breed of one auditorium theaters in State College and elsewhere. The theater plays many films and has shows from many groups and bands that interest college students.
This is a classic small venue. It has that intimate feel that is lost in a lot of the large halls .Small drink bar attached located in the heart of downtown. This can make for a great evening
Great venue to see a show or hear a band. Drinks at the bar in front, and good acoustics. Definitely the premier place to take in an evenings entertainment in State College.
Not a bad seat in the house! Staff VERY courteous. Saw Colin Hay there....fantastic show!!! Acoustics were amazing. Dont miss out on this gem :)
This is a great old theater and a State College icon. I usually see simulcast Operas and Ballets here, so there are plenty of good seats!
Awesome time with awesome friends. the staff was super friendly and accommodating. Saw Big Gigantic in this close, intimate setting.
Great music venue. The State presents music groups of many different styles, and they also regularly feature local acts.
Great theater. We go to watch shows at least once a year. There arent any bad seats in this place.
Very nice and helpful staff. Local craft liquor and beer. Its an awesome, old theatre!
Fun place with great shows, both plays and bands. They have a bar now with local beers
Only come here for first night on New Years but am always blow away by the shows here.
good place to watch plays and also accommodates small dance shows and musicals.
Beautiful old theater. Balcony seating is a little cramping, but nice place.
Great community theater that hosts many different types of entertainment.
Left seats in for hardcore show; super awkward place
Great theater, clean, friendly staff decent show.
Weng Choong Chan
Wish they showed more regular movies more often.
Great venue for variety of concerts, plays etc
One of the best event venues in State College.
Good popcorn and good free movies occasionally
Best rocky horror show I have ever seen
Tiny old theatre. Interesting showings.
F. Joseph Pollock
Best local music/theater venue!
Calvert midtown church service
Great venue for live music
Lots of good shows