State Theater

108 E. San Antonio Avenue,
El Paso, TX 79901

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The old State Theatre (formerly the Wigwam)

Known as the Wigwam Theater when it first opened in 1914. On September 25, 1919 it was renamed Rialto Theater. In 1922 it returned to the Wigwam Theater name In the early-1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Hoblitzelle & O'Donnell. On April 2, 1949 it was renamed State Theater. By 1981 it was an adult movie theater, but this was a short lived venture and it finally closed in late-1981.

The State Theater had a showy combination marquee/sign that sheltered the entrance and outside ticket booth. “State” was spelled out in large letters on both sides and accented with neon.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2012 at 12:45 am

The Wigwam Theater was in operation by 1914, when it was one of five El Paso movie houses that shared a full-page ad in the August 29 issue of the El Paso Herald.

This post from weblog Deep Inside El Paso has a couple of photos of the Wigwam/State Theatre building (way down the page) and cites historian Cynthia Farah Haines as saying that the Wigwam Theatre was renamed the Rialto in 1921, then went back to Wigwam in 1922, and became the State in 1949. Haines also said that the Wigwam Theatre was designed by architect Henry Trost. The State began showing X-rated movies in 1981, but closed later that year.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 18, 2012 at 12:51 am

The photos in the weblog post I linked to in me previous comment show that Street View on this page is currently set to the wrong building. The theater was in the building down the block to the left which has a sign reading “Alamo Shooters” on what remains of the marquee. The building has the addresses 108 and 110 E. San Antonio Avenue.

Mariusz
Mariusz on July 13, 2014 at 7:43 pm

Watched many a flicks at The State, but The Capri was my joint.

rivest266
rivest266 on July 1, 2018 at 9:58 am

and reopened as the State on April 2nd, 1949. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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