State Theatre

W. 3rd Street,
Greenville, OH 45331

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State Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

One of two old former live theatres in Greenville. The State Theatre was opened as a movie theatre around 1927, replacing the former Trainor Opera House which had been destroyed by fire in 1926. It was operated by Chakeres Theatres. The screen was hung over the old stage. Closed in the mid-1970’s and demolished in the early-1980’s.

Contributed by Greg Asman

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 9, 2005 at 4:04 pm

The State Theatre is listed as operating as a movie theatre in Film Daily Yearbooks that I have between 1941 and 1950. Dates before and after these need to be researched.

bjshaffer on April 21, 2009 at 4:46 pm

The State Theatre was torn down in the mid-eighties. I scrambled around in the rubble in the middle of the night til I found a whole brick as a remembrance. I was told it had been an opera house at one time. I worked the ticket booth at the Wayne Theatre in the winter and managed the Speed-Way Drive-In in the summer.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm

The earliest reference I’ve found to the State Theatre comes from Boxoffice Magazine, July 27, 1937, but that item says that the manager, Jonas Thomas, who was being transfered to another Chakeres Theatres house, had been at the State for the past four years, so the place was in operation by 1933.

A couple of issues of Movie Age from 1929 mention a National Theatre in Greenville. That might have been an earlier name for the State or the Wayne.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2009 at 7:33 pm

The most recent mention of the State I’ve found in Boxoffice comes from the April 12, 1965, issue. The house was then being operated by John Tabor, who would take over Greenville’s Wayne Theatre in 1975.

bjshaffer on April 28, 2009 at 5:42 pm

John Tabor also had the Speedway Drive-In. He also had a theatre in Bellfontaine, Ohio, which is where he lived and had his office. He had a couple of other theatres but I don’t remember where they were.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2014 at 3:50 am

I’ve now found the State Theatre mentioned in the September 14, 1935, issue of Motion Picture Herald. It was being operated by Chakeres Theatres at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2014 at 2:16 pm

I’ve come across two sources that say the State Theatre was on Third Street. This obituary of former manager Stockton Shafer says that it was on West Third, and the caption of this photo at Facebook just says Third Street. A commenter remembers seeing The Shining at the State, so it must have been in operation at least as late as 1975.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Well, duh. I forgot that this comment and this comment by CT member Pens on the Wayne Cinema page both say that the State Theatre was on Third Street. It replaced the Trainor Opera House, which was destroyed by fire in 1926, so it probably opened that year or in 1927. The State’s entrance building in the photo at Facebook looks 19th century, and might have been the Opera House entry as well. The Opera House was built by the IOOF in 1873.

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