The State Theater was originally opened in July, 1914 under a different name, THE PALACE. Silent films were shown along with vaudeville acts. The new owners were named Donovan and Prespare, who may be the men pictured here.
In the mid thirties, the theater was taken over by the Schine movie circuit. Schine renovated the facade, inside, and also added sound to the projection booth. These projectors were still installed and used until the 1970’s. The silent projectors which had been modified for sound projection were donated to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake by the present owner of the theater.
The above photo was taken during the 40’s and shows the marquee Schine added to the theater. Schine also renamed it as the STATE THEATRE. A sound system was added and the silent film projectors were upgraded to show “talkies”.
There were a few owners between… and in the 1970’s, the theater was closed. Rumor was that there was water damage from a fire next door.
A group called “Project Pride” began to renovate the theater and ready it to open again for the community. This was a volunteer effort and many people donated their time and materials to bring the theater back to life. It took several years but they stabilized the building, spruced it up, and had a grand opening in 1982. If not for this group, the State Theater would never have survived. There is a plaque inside the theater listing many names of people who were involved with this project–come and see it!
The present owner, Sally Strasser, has many years in show business, and bought the theater in 2004. Since then the theater has been twinned and renovated–every year, a new project is done, and it’s a work in progress! In 2013 the GO DIGITAL OR GO DARK campaign allowed new digital projectors with 3D to be installed, along with new sound systems. This was an Adirondack-wide fundraiser for all of the theaters in the North Country, and was the reason the independent theaters in our area survive. Many thanks to all of our supporters!
We pride ourselves for being a “non-multiplex” theater…with many of the old fashioned theater details saved. It’s a charming and friendly theater with very moderate prices…just like the theater experience was many years ago.