State Theatre

515 E Street,
Marysville, CA 95901

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Showing 26 - 50 of 53 comments

Inspired_3rdGrader on August 13, 2012 at 7:09 am

Awe… Thank You Donald for replying to the message. She will be so thrilled to see this message and she would love to be apart of everything. My name is Kristin (Im her her Mother) and my daughters name is Madison. :) This will be very excited when I let her know.

DonaldKirk on August 12, 2012 at 5:54 pm

OOPS… Sorry for the Typos above.

DonaldKirk on August 12, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Well, I have it set to notify me of any new posts about the State; and 8 minutes after you posted your message I’m replying. Hipefully we will be able to get the current owner to sell to me. At the moment I’m profucing a U.S. West Coast Concert toru for 2013; and hopefully when it’s over Mr. Benny will sell. Don’t ask how much I plan to make producing the tour; but I will have enough cash to buy it. Tell your daughter to pray that I end up getting it. I have a list of volunteers willing to help; and I’m sure they’d like your daughter to help them.

Inspired_3rdGrader on August 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Today my 8 Year old girl and I drove down E street headed to Yuba City to visit her Grandmother. On our way she was looking out the window and says, “Mom, that building called State, what was it?” I told her it used to be a theatre. She replied, “Well, what kind? Movies,plays,puppet shows?” I said I am not sure. As we drove by her head is turned all the way around keeping her eyes on the State, when it was out of sight she faces the front and says, “Mom, when we get home could I use your computer and look on the internet on the history of that building?” I have never heard anything like this come from her and without thinking much of it I told her “Sure”. We were out and about for hours and the second we walked in the door she asked if she could use the computer. I told her I would help her after I got some of my things done. Of course she asked about 10 times after that and finally I said ok lets look. We found this website and she read aloud to her father and I all the comments everyone had written. After she was done she said, “I want to volunteer to help.” So persistant to get me to understand she was SO serious, she said she wanted to tell Donald Kirk she wants to contribute to making the State everything he says he wants to make it to be. She is so filled with excitement she is sitting next to me at this momment making sure I follow threw with the message. She would like Donald Kirk (if you happen to read this) to know that when you buy the Theatre she will come and help do anything she can to make it into the dream you have discribed in your posts. As her mother I can say this is all so very heart warming to see her so excited. She believes she will have a part in making the State Theatre come back to life as long as she can get this message to Donald Kirk. :) Good Luck with what you are trying to achieve.

DonaldKirk on July 26, 2012 at 1:53 pm

I now am putting together a U.S. Tour for 2011 Australia’s Got Talent Winner (A look/sound alike of Queen’s late singer Freddie Mercury). Thomas Crane makes you think Freddie has reincarnidated in him. I will be using some of the profits from this tour to help acquire and refurbish theatres like the State (hopefully the State). I need locations in/near Marysville, of large outdoors venues, High School, or college football stadiums, to host one of Thomas' concerts in. This is an ongoing effort to get and reopen the Marysville State Theatre for live-stage and film festivals (yes even Rocky Horror Picture Show).

DonaldKirk on July 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

I might add, that if we can get the theatre from Mr. Benny, the Marquee shown in the above picture will be replicated; as will the vertical State sign. I agree with the one post, that the current marquee is ugly. As for the 1977ish tile, if it’s actually original, it will be cleaned and repaired. If it is an add-on, it will be replaced with whatever was original to the theatre. Once restored, or replaced with like new tile. ot will look a whole lot better. Most theatre’s had tile entranceways. My purpose is to bring back it’s glory; with whatever improvements that are “required” (new sound system, DVD projection equipment, stage lights, wiring, ADA restrooms, etc.). Original looks is what people expect of a prize theatre’s restoration.

DonaldKirk on July 18, 2012 at 7:57 am

AnnaBananna: The ad states the property is Off-Market (Not For Sale At This Time). Thanks Anyway!!!

EVERYONE ELSE: Apparantly the owner of the building next to the State (on the corner) reads these posts, as he has contacted me and has someone he thinks might be able to get Mr. Benny to talk with me about his selling the State. Hopefully this is a positive, that will lead to the State (and also the Marysville Hotel) being acquired, restored and open as viable venues.

AnnaBananna on April 19, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Donald…I just happened upon this page and another, looking into historical buildings in the area. I dont know if you succeeded contacting the owner, but this is a listing for Hotel Marysville…I dont know how old it is..

DonaldKirk on February 8, 2012 at 7:00 am

We are also having trouble contacting the owner of the Capitol Theatre in New London, CT. It was bought from the city for $1. Plus back $20,000. property taxes; with the agreement to restore the theatre (over 1700 seating capacity). The 2 owners there have also done nothing; and refuse to answer inquiries from anyone including the city. We want both of these thetres (and the Hotel Marysville); and will keep working to acquire all of these. With a 90' wide stage, we could produce any type of show. We’d love to bring the current version of Lord Of The Dance and other show of that calliber to Marysville’s State Theatre.

jmetcalf on February 7, 2012 at 8:16 pm

State Theater was the National Theater..

The original theater burned on the night of July 28, 1926 and was rebuilt bigger 11 months later on September 14, 1927 as the National Theater. Built by contractor I.C. Evans at a cost of $250,000. There was a temperary theater on the site during the construction. The National was a 1672 seat play and movie house, with an orchestra of 9 and a 90 by 40 foot stage. It also included 2 storefronts and 6 offices. Under the stage there are 11 dressing rooms. It was remodeled in Aug 1936 and changed its name to the State Theater. Remodeled again in the 1970’s when it was bought by United Artist. They turned the balcony into a double screen. Leaving it with the 3 screens it now has. CLosed in the late 1990’s. Fire took some of the concetion in 2005.

My dad worked there in the 1980’s when i was a kid under manager Joe Serry. I remember taking an elivator into the basement and seeing a bunch of old costums and tophats. And being in the projection booth, with a toilet next to a fruit drink fountain. It brings good memories and I would love to see it restored. •John Metcalf

DonaldKirk on November 6, 2011 at 11:23 am

Since my last posting, I have called and attempted to talk with Mr. Benny; but get only voicemail and no reply (to our buying the State for a live stage venue). I have also talked to and emailed Mr. Lamon about acquiring both the State and the Marysville Hotel. I’m currently in Medford, OR, working to acquire several buildings and land to open Phase I, of the new Medford Convention & Exposition Center; which we hope to open in the spring of 2012. After that, we will again attempt to purchase these two Marysville landmarks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 15, 2011 at 3:28 am

The actual opening year of the National Theatre was 1927. This comment by tspauld on the Tower Theatre page says that the National on E Street was under construction when the Liberty Theatre, which replaced an earlier National Theatre at 1st and D Streets, opened on January 1 that year.

Indeed, the January 15, 1927, issue of Building and Engineering News ran an item saying that subcontracts had been awarded for work on the new theater being built on E Street between 5th and 6th in Marysville for the National Theatres Syndicate. That could only have been the National/State.

The item said that the new theater had been designed by the San Francisco architectural firm of Bliss & Fairweather.

jmetcalf on August 13, 2011 at 1:01 am

i would volunteer to help with the restoration. that place has so much potential. it was a live vodville and movies house, with an orcestra pit. it has dressing rooms under the stage,and 6 offices. would love to see it up and running with music and movies again. my dad worked there in the 80’s. loved the cealing with all the charubs and decorations. it would be a great venue. would love to see it again as state was it was in the 40’s with all the neon and booth in middle. before 70’s restoration as per now. John Metcalf

DonaldKirk on April 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm

Between 2003 and 2005 a partner and I restored the California Theatre in Dunsmuir, CA; and reopened it as a live stage venue and special movies.

She and I could not get along once it opened (she booked only live kids shows & movies) and I bailed.

I would love to take over the restoration and reopening of the State (especially with 1667 seats) and bring big name acts to the theatre (Bill Medley, BS&T, etc.). I would gladly head-up and manage a $ multi-million restoration of the theatre, holding events and using volunteers, to cut those $ millions way down.

If any of you would be willing to work with me on this project, please contact me; and we’ll see if we can’t get the City and Owners together, to agree to a restoration & our operating the State.

Don Kirk

tspauld on September 10, 2009 at 12:55 pm

I’m not sure about a remodel, but the last day an advertisement ran in the Appeal-Democrat for the National Theatre was August 27, 1936, and the first day the State Theatre advertised was August 28, 1936 (a Friday).

TedL on September 14, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Regarding the hotel and proposed parking structure to its south:

The city had $2-million in grant money on tap to build the lower part of the structure… but the hotel’s owners reneged on a tentative plan to fund the upper floors of the structure.

As a result, the city had to give the grand money back.

View link

There goes a fairly sizeable positive step for the high-traffic part of town.


TedL on September 14, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Lost Memory’s pix shows the recent marquee repair and painting that the City of Marysville did when the owners didn’t.

The local newspaper ran a story recently.

City takes theater problems into its own hands, bills owners
August 14, 2008 12:05:00 AM
By Nancy Pasternack/Appeal-Democrat

Full version here:
View link

Significant new developments:

“We finally got tired of waiting for something to be done,” said City Services Director Dave Lamon.

The work on the historic theater’s marquee began Friday and was completed Tuesday. Owners George Benny and Eva Hollo of California Partners LLC of Oakland will be billed $6,000 for the work, Lamon said.

The 1920s Spanish-style theater building underwent a facade cleaning and paint job about a year ago, but still failed to meet basic city standards, city officials have said.

Benny and Hollo have not responded to requests for written information about their future plans for the building, according to Lamon and City Manager Steve Casey.

When reached by telephone Wednesday, Hollo refused to comment on anything related to the property.

TedL on May 29, 2008 at 11:41 am

The property has been neglected for many years, and the city had to force the previous owner to repaint.

View link

That happened last year, which has improved the overall look.

Unfortunately, the marquee is in need of work, and the new owners maintain a running battle with the city, which is trying to enforce codes.

Hence the fines each day the building hasn’t been brought up to spec. The owners are making some <ahem> interesting claims about the FBI investigating them and other things.
View link

The newspaper reports that one of the new owners has done prison time:
“George Benny did a 10-year stint in federal prison on mail fraud and racketeering charges. He was paroled in 1993.
Benny and Hollo also have asserted that Marysville officials have targeted the couple unfairly because of their Hungarian background.
According to city officials, the Bennys have never responded to requests for written information about their future plans for the building.”

So the State sitsâ€"unusableâ€"right across the parking lot from the also unusable Marysville Hotel. Which has been an on-again, off-again project for a succession of owners… who have done nothing to fix the place since it closed in the 1980’s.

The city IS going to put a multi-story parking lot in the current ground-level lot just south of the hotel, and wants both of these landmarks turned into useful, attractive, job, income and tax creating properties.

I’d like to see the parking lot, hotel, theater and adjoining properties combined into a conference and convention center. Something that would be affordable for groups that can’t handle the costs of meetings in Sacramento and other larger cities.

Back in the mid 1960’s and even into the 80’s as I recall… the theater was indeed run by Joe Seery, who also managed UA’s Sutter Theater in Yuba City, across the river.

As a ten to fifteen year old, I remember summer afternoons riding my bike into town from Linda, nd then sitting in the back of the main floor in the cool, dark watching Bond movies, pictures like “The Ipcress File,” and “The Spy Who Came In From the Cold,” and “The Yellow Rolls Royce” at the State.

The projection was good (from what I could tell at the time.) The sound had what I’d call a “slap-back” echo, though.

Back then, the box office was a true “box” office in the middle of the entranceway. When the front was modernized during UA’s ownership, the box office was remove and a ticket window was built on the south side of the entrance.

The last time I was in the theater as a patron I sat in what had been the balcony, in the “north” screening room that had been made by enclosing the balcony on both ends, with just enough room for the main screen’s projector beams. “Desecration” came to mind, but I understood the economics of the situation.

I stepped into the lobby after the fire, and thought, “what a mess!”

It kiboshed thoughts I’d entertained of getting the local Arts Council just up the street to cooperate on a film festival, using the State as one of the showcases.

Oh, well.


jmetcalf on February 26, 2008 at 12:34 am

It was closed in 1996. I think that the last movies were Alaska, and Phenomenon they both came out in 1996. The posters were in there for years.

BrightIdeasLighting on February 13, 2008 at 1:43 am

What a perfect place to bring live theater back into the area! Before someone broke the glass to the front doors of the theater, I was able to contact the owner to check out the inside of this lavishly designed palace. What a mess! It killed me inside to see such a pretty place in such bad shape. The theater offered a beautiful balcony that was horrible sectioned off into 2 spererate theaters. As my tour through the darkness was only guided by a small flashlight, I missed a lot of the detailing. The walls were painted a rich red color and a large chandelier hung in the main part of the theater. It felt like I was walking through a haunted house. My tour guide warned me of bums that would sneak in to find a dry place to sleep. GREAT! I was guided down to a door which lead to the stage. To my surprise it opened into a hallway that had bathrooms to the right and a staircase ahead to the stage. Once we got to the stage I was able to see a little better. This theater reminded me of an old vodvill palace. It wasnâ€\t just an old movie theater. It had a green room and dressing rooms that were built below the stage. Since most of the lights in the theater didnâ€\t work, I didnâ€\t dare venture into the dark dungeons (rooms) below. Above me I could see there was fly space and a fully designed pulley and weight system for hanging and fling in sets. Stage lighting was very minimal. Below the front of the stage was a sectioned area for an orchestra pit. Towards the end of my tour my guide took me out front of the theater to a random door which lead to a flight of stairs. Up the freaky staircase was a hallway with random rooms and offices. These offices and rooms were attached to the windows that lineup behind the marquee sign. It was sort of like going back in time. Most of the rooms were filled with random storage. WHAT A MESS! Once I found out that this wasn’t just a movie theater I got excited. At the time I had heard news that the local Mayer was interested in refurbishing the theater, but not enough parking was available for such a large space. Plus the water damage was pretty bad. The owner at the time had the theater on the market. Oh how I wish I could win the lottery, but I don’t think enough money in the world would bring this palace back to it’s glory. Not with all the wonderful things the city had in store for the owner.
If anyone has plans to refurbish please keep me in mind. Would love to be a part of the whole before and after.

stst on February 1, 2008 at 1:57 am

I found this video montage of this theatre on youtube:

Someone somewhere is obviously impressed with this building

DONMELVIN on December 27, 2007 at 7:14 pm

We, California Partners LLC., currently own the State Theater in Marysville and we are committed to restoring the State Theater. All restoration efforts are on hold due to the outrageous conduct by City Officials(daily fines levied against us in VIOLATION OF OUR CIVIL RIGHTS including selective enforcement in Violation of our 14th Ammendment Rights under The U.S. Constitution ), as soon as the problems with the city are resolved we can refocus our efforts into the restoration.

claybrinkman on January 22, 2006 at 2:30 pm

Does anyone know who the current owner of this theater/property is? Is it for sale?

kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 5:44 pm

And one in Fort Bragg, CA:

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kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 4:58 pm

There was also a State Theater in Auburn, CA:

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