State Theatre

687 Central Avenue,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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State Theatre

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The State Theatre opened in 1950 in a building originally built in 1924 as a bank. It closed in 1982. The theatre mostly hosts live concerts but has recently hosted the Renegade Films' Saints and Sinners Film Festival.

Contributed by TC

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 24, 2005 at 1:49 pm

The State was a conversion of a 1924 built former bank building. The architect of the conversion was Archie G. Parish and he created an 825 seat auditorium that had a free floating screen on the back wall that had concealed coloured lighting behind it. It was equipped for screening 70mm movies with stereo sound.

It had closed as a movie theatre by 1982.

rocksalt on May 30, 2005 at 9:32 am

Actually only the Center theater in downtown St Petersburg had 70mm projectors. The State did have CinemaScope. The State also seated only around 500 people. My father and grandfather owned both at one time. In fact, they were the ones that convert the State into a theater

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 10:49 am

Thanks for your corrections.

rivest266 on September 13, 2008 at 2:46 pm

This theatre opened on May 1st, 1950, and the ad can be found on this newspaper page at View link

Nunzienick on October 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Around 1968 a friend and I drove over from Tampa to see “South Pacific” here. It was my first time at the State, and I recall being impressed by the wide CinemaScope screen with the colored lighting behind it. It did appear to be free-floating…very unusual but effective. “South Pacific” looked great and the onscreen image was well-focused overall. I remember the seats were very comfortable and the cushions were slightly thicker and softer than standard theatre seating. In 1969 I also saw “The Gay Deceivers.” These were the only two films I saw here. Wish I had driven over more often. The State was a very nice, comfortable theatre.

BobbyS on July 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Remember seeing “THE HIGH & THE MIGHTY” starring John Wayne in the 1950’s with my family. Screen was large like the ones we were used to in Chicago. Went to Florida every year and always took in a movie at the State.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on July 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

They had a curved, suspended CinemaScope screen with no adjustable masking, just like the one at the Center. It was backlighted in blue.

jimmyj on December 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

The first movie shown at the “State Theater” was “The Out Riders” starring Joel McCrea.

jimmyj on December 14, 2013 at 6:34 am

RockSalt: I knew your Father or Grand Father who was a collector of German Luger Pistols. We both were members of the “Tampa Bay Gun Collectors” club. He had a office at the “Center Theater” which was the former “Roxy Theater”.

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