213 Federal Plaza W,
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The State Theatre opened in early-1927 with John Gilbert & Greta Garbo in “Flesh and the Devil”. Designed by architect Charles W. Bates, with engineer William M. Cook, it had a narrow entrance and lobby which fronted West Federal Street, Youngstown’s principal business street at the time. Over the entrance is a large arched opening, framed by Roman columns and originally topped with a palladian window.
The auditorium was reached from the lobby over an enclosed bridge spanning a rear alley.
Operated as a movie theatre until the early-1970’s, it was then used as a nightclub known as the Agora. Plans have been discussed to renovate the lobby as a museum for Idora Park, a defunct Youngstown Amusement Park.
There has also been interest by a local playhouse to obtain and renovate the theatre, however most of the State Theatre’s interior features have already been obliterated and the auditorium may be beyond feasible repair.
Situated one block east of the renovated Powers Auditorium, formerly the Warner Theatre, the State Theatre’s renovation would have been a definite plus to downtown revitalization. Sadly, the State Theatre was demolished in late-November 2008, only the front wall was saved.
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