State Theater

985 Lincoln Way,
Auburn, CA 95603

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State Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The State Theater opened December 26, 1930 as a T & D Jr. Enterprises theater with an Art Deco motif and a seating capacity of 1,325. It was converted from a single screen theater to a duplex in 1972 at which time the balcony was converted into offices. The State Theater is still in operation as independent motion picture theater.

In March, 2006 the State Theater was purchased by The Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center, Inc., a local non-profit group. APPAC plans to reconstruct the State Theater as a local performing arts and cultural center that will be home to the Auburn Symphony and feature a variety of entertainment types. The intent is to stay as closely as possible to the historic layout, including a reconstruction of the balcony.

In June 2008 the facade was restored to its 1937 likeness and a marquee and vertical blade sign installed.

Contributed by Paul Ogden

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

GaryParks on April 14, 2006 at 11:59 pm

I saw the exterior and was allowed inside the State in the early 1990s. At the time, there was very little to look at, the twin auditoriums being draped in pleated fabric. I remember guessing that perhaps the balcony had been converted to other uses. Apparently I guessed correctly. I photographed a mural in the outer lobby area—which appeared to be an original decorative feature—which depicted a birds-eye view of Auburn, flanked by clusters of agricultural bounty. It’s nice to hear that this much-altered theatre is on a comeback trail.

CSWalczak on December 4, 2008 at 10:01 pm

According to its website, the Old State Theatre is “moving” from its current address after Dec. 4, 2008. Does anyone know what this means?

CSWalczak on December 4, 2008 at 10:59 pm

OK, here’s the story:
View link

This would appear to create an odd situation for the theater’s entry on CT as the article indicates that the owner has copyrighted the name “Old State Theater” and apparently intends to use it as the name of her relocated cinema. I think this theater’s status should now be, or soon be, closed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 5, 2008 at 3:53 am

Southwest Builder & Contractor, issue of March 28, 1930, said that architect Rudolph Falkenrath, Jr. had been authorized to proceed with the final working drawings for a 1200 seat, reinforced concrete theater building to be built at Auburn, for the Auburn Amusement Company.

CSWalczak on June 25, 2010 at 6:41 pm

Here’s an article that updates the status of the State Theater in Auburn: View link One of the two auditoriums has been renovated, and new 35mm projection installed. The eventual plan is to return the theater to a single auditorium. Movies are being shown again along with live performances. The State is now owned and operated by the Auburn-Placer Performing Arts Center and the official website is now:

dplomin1954 on July 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm

The marquee at night looks GREAT! Beautiful colors.

Mikeyisirish on June 27, 2012 at 12:29 pm

A few 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

AimeeC on June 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm

“It was converted from a single screen theater to a duplex in 1972 at which time the balcony was converted into offices.”

It was not converted to a duplex in 1972. The balcony WAS converted to offices at that time, but the screen wasn’t split until years later. I know, because I went to see movies there as a child. I remember the big velvet curtains pulling back before the films would start…and I wasn’t born until 1973. ;)

JohnRice on September 13, 2013 at 6:39 pm

From a September 2013 press release from the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (formerly State Theater):

“Tear Down the Wall, Bring Up the Arts! Donate and Celebrate on October 5, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.”

“Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (APPAC) has launched a fundraising campaign to expand and upgrade the State Theatre at 985 Lincoln Way, in downtown Auburn. This work will include removing the center wall that currently divides the theater, increasing seating capacity from its current 130 seats to 275 seats, reopening and upgrading the original proscenium and stage, rebuilding the green room beneath the stage, and making American Disability Act (ADA) improvements to a restroom and stage access. A very exciting aspect of this project is the cost: an estimated $300,000.

“Upon completion in mid year-2014, we will be able to provide an expanded and improved facility that will serve our community far better than our current theater does” said Paul Ogden, President of APPAC. “This will allow us to attract entertainers who require a larger venue and to provide more variety to our audiences. This is the next logical step to build upon the solid foundation we’ve built. We believe this is a needed community project with significant cultural and economic benefits”.

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