State Theatre

11 N. Main Street,
Monroe, NC 28112

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The first State Theatre in Monroe opened in a former movie house known as the Strand Theatre at 11 N. Main Street in April 1935. First picture: "Society Doctor". Renovations included the installation of a balcony (those seats were only 35 cents). Owners were Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Wheeler Smith.

A major fire hit the downtown area April 16, 1939 destroying the theatre along with some other buildings. Wheeler Smith vowed to rebuild. By June he had decided to move down the street, acquiring two lots. His new theatre opened Feb. 9, 1940 as the Center Theatre on S. Main Street. A different State Theatre would be built a few years later on N. Main Street. Both of these to be treated in separate postings.

Contributed by Patricia Poland

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

The Strand Theatre was listed in the 1922-1923 edition of the Monroe City Directory.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on August 25, 2014 at 12:30 am

Yes indeed, The Strand was one of Monroe’s early movie houses. The Dixie, The Rex, The Bru-nel – those were other early venues for “moving pictures”. I realize my sentence was a wee-bit poorly worded but I did mean April 1935 as this post was about “The State”, the first theatre that Wheeler Smith ‘opened’ in Monroe.

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