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I remember seeing several films there as a child. It was a rather grand but very dark theater from what I remember. It was closed in the mid 70’s and was split in half. The upper level become a nightclub called “Gatsby’s” and the lower became a disco called “Mr C’s”. I performed in a dinner theater production there in the late 80’s and the proscenium arch, ceiling and most of the upper architecture was still intact and looked very nice. It was then converted shortly after into additional cubicle office space for Penn State’s English department.
I remembered seeing it just before it opened at about the same time Carmike bought out a whole bunch of Cinemaworld theaters (which included The Movies, The State and The Cinema 5). It took over an old retail store location. I always thought it was a bit out of the way and even when new really didn’t have any character like the downtown theaters. I am trying to remember if I ever went to a movie there and I can’t come up with anything.
I don’t remember The State running porn, but I do remember its days as a single and then a double screen. Saw a lot of movies there. I sometimes would run over from the Cinema 5 to help out on occasion and was in a Rocky Horror cast there in the early 90’s. They couldn’t get a one sheet so they borrowed one from me while the movie was there. I recently saw a concert there and was impressed with how they managed to revert it back to a single theater. Most of the time I was trying to figure out where the center wall had been.
I was never a big Starlite fan. Did see “Jaws” there though. The Temple Drive-In was closer and we went there more often before the property become too valuable and they tore it down. BTW, how come The Temple isn’t listed?
Of all the theaters that have closed in State College, this one hurt the most. I saw so many movies there. I remembered standing in line with my dad for HOURS to see “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and going on dates there with my future wife before we got married and left town. I even worked there for a time. I was back in town when they were gutting it a few years ago and it was like the last few shreds I had of my childhood got shot right in the head. The town I grew up in was no more.
I went to ONE movie there. It sort of had a reputation for being a bit rundown and showing 2nd run stuff. I must have missed its “glory days” as an “art house” theater. The only film I ever saw there was “Popeye”. So that must have been Dec of 1980.
Saw several movies there as a kid. Not a great theater but not a bad one. It did have a balcony but it was usually closed because people would go up there and throw stuff down on the audience. I moved to the area in 1972 and only remember at as “The Garden”.
From what I remember as a kid, it was originally the local porno house. Later showed second run stuff when it couldn’t compete with video and PSU student groups that showed porn on campus ( I am not kidding. I first saw CALIGULA at the PSU Forum building in the 80’s). Quickly became a hobby shop after that.