State Theatre

39 E. Main Street,
Newark, DE 19711

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State Theatre

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The State Theatre opened in May 1929. I do not know too much about the State Theatre, except that it was closed near the end of the 1980’s. It was located at the end of Main Street in Newark, right near the University of Delaware campus. They would show revival and older films (I saw “Blade Runner” there in 1984). They showed “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” just about every weekend and “The Song Remains the Same” from time to time.

The State Theatre was torn down in the mid-1990’s (I think) to make room for a small shopping mall. If anyone has any information, it would be appreciated.

Contributed by CCF

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour on January 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

The State was built around 1935 & fitted out for vaudeville as well as movies. It was a handsome house, but lack of maintenance put it in physical decline by the Seventies. Under David Bartholomew, and then Barry Solan, it played great films through the early Eighties. There were also live stage shows, including George Thorogood several times. Through some pretty crappy real estate machinations it was allowed to go vacant & deteriorate further before being torn down. The site sat vacant for years as the “Field of Dreams” before a mini-mall went up. Another loss for Newark, which never really seemed to care about its historic buildings anyway.

ronnie21
ronnie21 on May 7, 2012 at 1:13 am

clockwork orange showed here in Summer of 1980…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 7, 2012 at 3:44 am

The NRHP nomination form for the State Theatre says that it opened in May, 1929. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

The State Theatre was built by Louis Handloff, who had operated a small theater on Main Street called the Hanark for several years. He closed the Hanark Theatre when the State opened. Handloff also bought the Newark Opera House, an 1885 theater that sometimes showed movies during the silent era.

An organization called Video Americain says that they operated the State Theatre as a repertory cinema from 1979 until mid-1986.

donharris
donharris on June 25, 2013 at 7:00 pm

I fell in love with Haley Mills in 1962. I was 9 years old and she stared in the film “the Castaways"at the State Theater. What a great place to watch a Saturday Matinee. Abbot & Costello, Jerry Lewes,old cowboy movies. My dad went there as a kid too. After the movie we would go to the Delux Grill next store for a cherry soda. Newark was great back then. Fell sorry for the kids now. Can’t have memories like we did.

runusmc
runusmc on July 6, 2014 at 6:24 am

My mother and father in law met at the State Theater prior to dating. They did get married, had 6 daughters and are still married and alive as of July 5, 2014.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 19, 2014 at 6:23 am

The July 6, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News said that the new State Theatre in Newark, Delaware, had been designed by Philadelphia architectural firm Hoffman & Hennon.

cwlevan
cwlevan on September 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm

On most Saturdays during the early sixties my parents would give us kids $.50 each ($.25 for the movie and $.25 for candy). Loved that old theater and lots of good memories. Sad that it was torn down.

notthatold
notthatold on November 13, 2016 at 4:33 am

The last manager of the State Theater would go on to own the chain of video rental stores called Video Americain. Newark had one of the locations with two more in the Baltimore area. Unfortunately, the chain closed in 2014.

ElktonBob
ElktonBob on December 6, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Many times, my wife and I were the only people for a show…remember Fellini’s Armacord in particular. The projectionist yelled down to make sure we were comfortable during the previews. Before the theater was torn down, the “destruction” company opened up the back wall and gave the public 1 hour to take anything that was left. I personally loaded the center front row of seats (row of 6) into my pickup; but, have no documentation as verification (other than the original gum under the seats). There was a large art-deco clock (φ 3') high on one wall that I would have loved to take. I remember it was the first thing the wrecking ball hit. Ouch!

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