State Theater

51 E. Congress Street,
Tucson, AZ 85701

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State Theater...Tucson Arizona

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened in 1897 as the Tucson Opera House, the 1,000-seat State Theater on Congress Street operated at least into the 1950’s, but has since been demolished. The site is now a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

Here is part of an article dated 9/22/53 from the Tucson Daily Citizen:

The State Theater, known long before the days of motion pictures as the Tucson Opera House, will play its last show tonight. A new commercial building will soon take its place on Congress Street. There will be no fanfare, no closing ceremony for the aged theater where any performance was once a major social event and seats were reserved on a permanent basis. The leading Shakespearean actors played at the old Opera House. There were traveling minstrel shows, too, and operas. Occasionally, a local group put on a play.

In 1929, the theater was taken over by the Paramount chain. The old landmark closes on a modern note for one of the features tonight is “When Worlds Collide”.

kencmcintyre on March 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

This postcard of uncertain vintage shows the State on Congress Street:

TLSLOEWS on July 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Nice postcard I see the State and Fox down the street.Thanks ken mc.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2010 at 2:31 am

The Tucson Opera House was designed by architect Sidney Lovell, according to this book published in 1897, the year the Opera House was built.

Tucsonman on July 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

When it first became a theater, it was operated by Paramount, Nace or Paramount Nace (depending on whether, or not Paramount, & Nace had merged by that point). On New Year’s Eve 1949, Paramount Nace Theatres was spun off, due to Sherman-Antitrust regulations, and the place was renamed the United Paramount State Theatre.

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