State Theatre

419 Pierre Street,
Pierre, SD 57501

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State Theatre

The Bijou Theatre on Pierre Street, was opened in February 1908. The theatre was later remodeled and renamed the State Theatre. The State Theatre suffered a fire in the 1980’s and closed. A new State Theatre was built not far away. The old State Theatre (at least the lobby space) was converted into retail use.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 15, 2005 at 2:00 am

The Film Daily Yearbook. 1950 gives a seating capacity for the State Theatre as 420.

rivest266 on May 18, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Chuck 1231, That picture is for the newer state theatre at 123 W. Capitol. Use Google Street View for the picture.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2010 at 4:51 am

I couldn’t make this stuff up, and if I could I’m sure readers would find it too contrived.

The Bijou Theatre began operating in February, 1908, said a brief article in a 1913 issue of The Moving Picture Age. The building had been the city’s opera house prior to its conversion into a combination movie and vaudeville theater by the new operator, Mr. J.E. Hippie. Mr. Hippie, a man clearly ahead of his time, was a former postmaster of Pierre, and editor and publisher of a daily newspaper. The article included this passage about the aptly named exhibitor:

“Mr. Hippie… let it be made known that he is the man who made the successful fight for the Sunday opening of picture shows in that city. Mr. Hippie in a letter to the Moving Picture World says that he is going to look after the interests of the exhibition business at the next legislature, as some local ministers and other persons are contemplating the introduction of bills looking toward a state censorship and other interferences with the picture industry.”
As for the Bijou itself, the article said that it seated 606 patrons in an area 40x97 feet, and that the stage was 16x40 feet. The house was steam-heated, had both alternating current from the city and direct current from its own power plant, and featured such amenities as “…a sanitary drinking fountain, checking rooms, and retiring rooms.”

Lee_Zion on August 26, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Note to Joe Vogel: Someone must have made a typo in the text that you copied. The guy’s name was “Hipple.” The Hipple family once owned the newspaper in Pierre, South Dakota, called the Capital Journal, which I happen to work for. Although the Hipple family no longer owns the Capital Journal, family members still live in the area, even now in 2016. I have had the honor of meeting one of the Hipples.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 27, 2016 at 2:16 am

Typos were not unusual in the trade journals of that period, though in this case it is rather disappointing that Hippie wasn’t the real name.

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