State Theater

515 E Street,
Marysville, CA 95901

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Showing 26 - 43 of 43 comments

DonaldKirk
DonaldKirk on November 6, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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 6:28 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
jmetcalf on August 13, 2011 at 4:01 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
DonaldKirk on April 7, 2011 at 1:12 am

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
tspauld on September 10, 2009 at 3:55 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
TedL on September 15, 2008 at 1:59 am

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.

Ted

TedL
TedL on September 15, 2008 at 1:36 am

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
TedL on May 29, 2008 at 2:41 pm

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.

Ted.

jmetcalf
jmetcalf on February 26, 2008 at 3:34 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
BrightIdeasLighting on February 13, 2008 at 4:43 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.
James

stst
stst on February 1, 2008 at 4:57 am

I found this video montage of this theatre on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVdiwNumMeA

Someone somewhere is obviously impressed with this building

DONMELVIN
DONMELVIN on December 27, 2007 at 10:14 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
claybrinkman on January 22, 2006 at 5:30 pm

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

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 8:44 pm

And one in Fort Bragg, CA:

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kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 19, 2005 at 7:58 pm

There was also a State Theater in Auburn, CA:

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kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on October 18, 2005 at 7:13 pm

From the UCLA Digital Archive:

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MLW
MLW on June 16, 2005 at 9:24 pm

This theater suffered a fire last night. See link for details:
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blueangel6606
blueangel6606 on November 19, 2004 at 6:59 pm

I actually think the State Theater in Marysville is quite charming. Its design is much more interesting to look at than any of theaters in the area, which are either dilapidated 50’s design or more modern (plain brown stone) square design. I miss this theater and wish someone would restore and reopen it. I have fond memories of seeing movies there. The only draw-back was the lack of close parking. The big cinemas may have space and more screens, but I love the old classic-style theaters best.