States Theatre

1024 Demers Avenue,
East Grand Forks, MN 56721

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The States Theatre was opened in 1935. It was owned and operated by Ira and Lois Haaven. The theatre also contained a ballroom.

Duke Ellington and His Band played at the Ballroom of the States Theatre on November 5, 1940.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Jerri Haaven Pearlman

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on August 16, 2008 at 8:24 pm

Interesting that there’s a DeMers Avenue in Grand Forks, ND as well. I imagine the city changes but not the street when you cross the state border from ND to MN.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 7, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Boxoffice calls it the States Theatre, too. The January 28, 1950, issue says that the States Theatre had been destroyed by fire on January 13. It also said that the theater had been operating since 1923, and had been one of the leading theaters in the Grand Forks area. An August 31, 1946, article saying that Ira Haaven had bought “…the theatre in East Grand Forks” indicates that the States was the only theater in the town at that time.

A later article says that the States Theatre had originally been located across the street from its final location. It doesn’t give the year the house moved to the new building. The original States Theatre building, according to the October 15, 1955, issue of Boxoffice, was in 1955 remodeled and reopened as a 230-seat house called the WW Theatre, named for the owner, William C. Wong, operator of a local restaurant. An earlier article about Mr. Wong’s project said that the town had been without a theatre since the States had burned in 1950.

The WW Theatre “…had been closed for some time” when it was reopened by a Mr. R.D. Ferguson, according to an item in the December 25, 1961, issue of Boxoffice. That’s the last mention of the house I can find, at least under that name. The February 9, 1976, issue of Boxoffice makes a reference to a Century Cinema in East Grand Forks, but there’s no indication whether or not it was the WW Theatre renamed.

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