State Theatre

687 Central Avenue,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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State Theatre

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The State Theatre opened May 1, 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 15 comments)

Nunzienick on October 16, 2010 at 2:11 am

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 28, 2013 at 1:06 am

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 11:42 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 9:29 am

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

jimmyj on December 14, 2013 at 9:34 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”.

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on November 21, 2016 at 4:33 pm

Sorry ROCKSALT, but the PLAZA TWIN THEATRES in St. Petersburg, built for Florida Theatres and later owned by ABC, Cobb and Cineplex Odeon, was equipped to run 70mm in theatre one. As an IATSE projectionist, I was an operator there for many years. The projectors and soundheads were CENTURY and the sound amps were all ALTEC. The projectors in theatre one were CENTURY 35-70’s and theatre two were CENTURY straight 35’s.

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on November 21, 2016 at 4:41 pm

An additional comment regarding the PLAZA TWIN THEATRES … The last 70mm print ran at the theatre was BRAINSTORM with Christopher Walken. Of course, I was there in the projection booth.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on November 21, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I checked out the Plaza booth under Cecil Fernandez, but I never got to work there.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on November 21, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Cecil sent me to the State and Cameo, but they both closed before I got to work there. Chuck Horton was at the Cameo and John was at the State.

rivest266 on October 9, 2017 at 12:39 pm

This opened on May 1st, 1950. Grand opening ad in photo section.

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