State Theater

525 West 2nd Street,
Hastings, NE 68901

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The State Theater dates back to at least 1941. Listed in the 1951 Film Daily Yearbook with 252 seats. Not listed in the 1955 edition.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 6, 2009 at 1:12 am

The July 11, 1953, issue of Boxoffice Magazine says that the State Theatre in Hastings had been destroyed by a fire. The owner planned to reopen the State at a different location in Hastings, but a later issue of the magazine says that he had decided instead to buy the Colonial Theatre in Hamburg, Iowa.

In issues of Film Daily Yearbook prior to 1941, the State should appear under its former name, the Cornhusker Theatre. It had been remodeled and renamed by a new owner that year, according to Boxoffice Magazine’s issue of December 13, 1941.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 6, 2009 at 5:54 am

Most probably the building was merely gutted, but since blocks of old buildings such as this one share common walls with their neighbors, it’s difficult to tell how much of the interior of this one might have been destroyed by the fire. The floors and/or roof might have been gone altogether, or just moderately damaged. A heavy masonry facade and rear wall of a narrow building that’s part of a row will often survive a fire that completely destroys the interior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 7, 2009 at 3:59 am

The Strand was around for a long time. I’ve found mentions of it as far back as 1929, when the September 14 issue of Movie Age said the Strand in Hastings was to re-open on September 29, after having had sound equipment installed. Then there are mentions of the Strand in various issues of Boxoffice as late as December 13, 1976.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 23, 2010 at 12:20 pm

A 1917 book called Past and Present of Adams County provides this information about early movie theaters in Hastings:[quote]“The first moving pictures exhibited in Hastings was during the street fair of 1899. The first moving picture theater was opened at 214 North Hastings Avenue, the present location of the clothing store of Harry Proffitt, by Fred Hayter, associated with Mrs. C. S. Epley, the present proprietor of the New Edison. This theater was called The Nickel and the opening date was June 3, 1907. Mr. Hayter continued in the business about two years and then went to California where he was engaged in the same business. In the fall of 1916, he purchased the Plaza, which is the continuation of his original house.

“The Brach Theater was erected by William Brach and is the first elaborate, exclusive moving picture theater to be erected in Hastings. The house was opened October 8, 1916. Charles A. Beghtol is the proprietor.

“Next to the Plaza, the Wonderland is the oldest moving picture house in Hastings. It was opened at the present location on Second Street about a year and a half after the opening of the Nickel, by B. F. Livengood who managed the house for an Omaha man. For about two years the Gay Brothers, Stanley C. Gay and Sidney F. Gay were the proprietors. It was bought from the Gay brothers by W. A. Walden who was the owner for several years. Since the spring of 1916 Mrs. Walden has been the owner of the Wonderland.”[/quote]As no addresses are given for the New Edison and the Wonderland, it’s possible that either name could have been an aka for the State (the Brach was later the Strand.) The photo of the State linked in Lost Memory’s comment near the top of this page show that it was in a fairly old building. Maybe somebody with access to old directories or newspapers for Hastings could check to see if either the New Edison or the Wonderland shared an address with the State.

Danielkoch
Danielkoch on July 11, 2013 at 1:07 am

Being from Hastings, I’ll fill in the info. The photo that shows at the top is of the Rivoli Theater that was across the street from the State. The Rivoli is still in business. If you rotate the view of the picture and view across the street, the State was where the Stylist business is today in a more modern building. The Strand building is no longer a theater but instead houses several businesses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 11, 2013 at 5:07 am

Thanks for the information, Danielkoch. I’ve updated the Street View to show the correct location of the State Theater.

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