State Theatre

341 Central Street,
Saugus, MA 01906

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1953 photo courtesy of Bev Milward.

The State was the only movie theatre in Saugus, a suburb to the north of Boston.

Contributed by Ron Salters

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on January 23, 2007 at 1:00 am

There was a General Cinema in Saugus, probably on Route 1. I don’t know whether it and the State were ever open at the same time.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on January 23, 2007 at 7:34 am

The MGM Theatre Photograph and Report form for the State in Saugus MA has an exterior photo dated 1941. The theatre had an attractive brick facade, 2 stories high. There was a triangular marquee, with 3 or 4 French doors below. Attractions are “Virginia” and “Jennie”. Above the doors is a large poster card announcing “Cash awards” on Fridays. The Report states that the State is on Central St. in Saugus, that it has been a MGM customer for 10 years; that it’s over 20 years old, in Fair condition and has 539 seats. There were no other movie theatres in Saugus in 1941. The 1927 Film Daily Yearbook does not list the State or any other cinema in Saugus.

msm618 on March 31, 2007 at 3:18 am

My mother & grandmother went to the State, “back in the day”. The theatre owners had “Dish Nite” where they offered patrons dinner plates, etc. as inducements to leave their homes & TV sets and attend a movie. Parking was limited to that found on-street in a busy commercial district (Saugus Center). This may have played a factor in the State’s demise once “everyone” drove a car.

The Congregation Ahavas Shalom purchased the building some time before my earliest recollections (mid-1960’s), and occupy it today.

The General Cinemas were located at the far north-west corner of the Sears, Roebuck & Co. shopping plaza (built circa 1959) on Route 1 southbound, just before the Essex St. overpass. On my first viisits there in the mid-1960’s, the place looked pretty new. It was closed and demolished sometime in the late 1980’s, perhaps in connection with the construction of the Square One mall on the 1959 site’s footprint.

There was a drive-in theatre on Route 1 southbound, where Lynn Fells Parkway once crossed Route 1 at-grade. The theatre opened circa 1940 (according to Massachusetts Highway Dept. maps I have viewed). It closed in the late 1970’s, and the land is now occupied by a large Circuit City/Eastern Bank strip mall.

Jay Morong
Jay Morong on June 19, 2012 at 9:13 pm

This link gives a nice slice of life of what going to The State Theater was like:

DavidZornig on April 12, 2017 at 6:56 pm

1953 photo added courtesy of Bev Milward.

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