State Theatre

131 Pike Street,
Port Jervis, NY 12771

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State Theatre

Opened as the Ritz Theatre in 1930. On March 19, 1959 it was renamed State Theatre. In 1971, the State Theatre was showing a neighborhood run of that “golden turkey”, Ross Hunter’s “Lost Horizon”. It was closed in 1984 and was demolished around 2000.

Contributed by Robert R

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

shoeshoe14 on July 14, 2006 at 3:48 am

Was on 131 Pike Street. Biked by it yesterday and it was demolished.

shoeshoe14 on July 15, 2006 at 12:23 am

The head of the Crescent Theater in Sussex, NJ told me it was demolished 5 or 6 years ago. They contacted them to offer assistance in saving the State and they refused. Never refuse help, unless you like tearing down history and having grass grow on an empty lot.

Marcel on May 16, 2007 at 3:04 am

The State theater closed in 1984. They showed mostly porn movies from the late seventies on. If anyone who lived in Port Jervis in the early eighties-they will remember the occasional rock concert here. They world-premired a Beatles film here-can’t remember which one.

shoeshoe14 on May 16, 2007 at 11:25 pm

I heard somewhere recently, they might bring a theatre here.

Marcel on May 17, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Yes, I heard rumors for years that they wanted to put a theater somewhere in Matamoras near Wal-Mart and KMart-in one of those shopping centers. Then something about the strip mall in P.J. that housed Great American and KMart. It really sucks now with the Tri-States theater gone, you have to drive to the Galleria in Middletown to see a movie. I don’t know if the Milford theater is still open or not-usually opens in the summer. I heard from friends that the best theater in this area was Cinema 23 in Montague.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 18, 2014 at 2:12 am

The State Theatre was either opened as a house called the New Theatre or it was built on the site of the New Theatre. This page from the Minisink Valley Historical Society says “The New Theatre was at 32 Sussex St. and the Palace Theatre was as at 69 Fowler St. The New Theatre would later move to its location at 129-135 Pike Street.”

The New Theatre was listed in the 1913-1914 Cahn guide as a ground floor house with a stage 38x75 feet, and over 1,000 seats; 590 in the orchestra, 184 in the balcony, 300 in the gallery, and 6 boxes. As I don’t know the year the house moved from Sussex Street to Pike Street, I don’t know which of the two locations the Cahn listing described.

The caption of a photo on page 69 of Port Jervis, by Matthew M. Osterberg, says that the State Theatre had once been called the Strand Theatre. As we have a Strand Theatre listed here, but located on Sussex Street, and I’ve found references to both the State and the Strand being in operation simultaneously in the 1970s, we are dealing with two different theaters.

The Strand and the Ritz are the only Port Jarvis theaters that were advertised in the Monticello Republican Watchman in the early 1930s (the Palace closed in 1927 and reopened as the Royal in late 1932.) It’s possible that the New Theatre on Pike Street did operate as the Strand before becoming the State, and that the Strand on Sussex Street opened after the Pike Street house was renamed the State.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 19, 2014 at 3:22 am

A 1929 issue of the Monticello Republican Watchman (with no date visible) carries an ad for the Royal Furniture Company located at 128 Pike Street, Port Jervis, with the tag line “Opposite Strand Theatre.” As there were no other theaters opposite 128 Pike, Strand must have been an aka for the State Theatre.

I’ve found nothing on the Internet or in any publication of the period indicating that the New Theatre at 129-135 Pike Street ever met with any disaster, so that, too, must have been an aka for the State at 131 Pike.

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