State Theatre

17 Livingston Avenue,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

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rivest266 on August 24, 2017 at 2:26 pm

Also added the December 25th, 1921 grand opening ad.

rivest266 on August 24, 2017 at 2:12 pm

State Theatre announcement:

Found on

rivest266 on October 23, 2016 at 8:54 am

December 7th, 1973 grand opening ad as an adult twin cinema in the photo section.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on October 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm

Lots of activity here, including Ringo Starr on October 25th and Wendy Williams on December 12th…

kencmcintyre on March 19, 2009 at 4:19 pm

This is part of a 1954 personal injury claim:

The defendant, Trenton-New Brunswick Theatres Company, owns and operates a moving picture theater at 17 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, N.J. Immediately adjoining the public sidewalk is an outer vestibule about 12 feet in length covered with rubber matting. At the end of this vestibule there are six transparent glass doors through which entrance is made to the inner lobby. The dimensions of this interior lobby are not given but the picture introduced in evidence shows it to be a quite sizeable one. It is carpeted from wall to wall. The walls are tiled and judging from the picture contain some posters relating to current or future pictures. On he right side for one entering, a glass windowed box office is located. At the end of this lobby are six solid doors which lead into a portion of the theater where the seats are located and the picture is shown.

The plaintiff, Mrs. Ruth A. Barnard, who was 76 years of age at the time of the accident, January 14, 1953, resided at 116 Livingston Avenue, apparently a short distance from the theater. She had been attending moving picture performances there for many years and had been in the lobby “many, many times.” She preferred the afternoon performances over those of the evening. The afternoon shows did not start at the same time; she said that they begin irregularly at 11:55 A.M., 12:00, and sometimes 12:15 P.M.

On January 14, 1953, at about 11:15 or 11:30 A.M., she entered the main or interior lobby through one of the glass doors for the purpose of inquiring as to the time the matinee began that day. Before entering she saw three men in the interior lobby near the solid doors already described, and she thought they might be able to give her the desired information. She knew that the picture was not on at that time.

She walked through the glass door which was open, up to the three men and made the inquiry she had in mind. One of the men answered, saying they were just workmen and were unable to tell her. At this, she turned to her right to leave and her left foot struck a five foot ladder which was lying on the lobby floor and which she had not seen. As a result she fell and suffered the injuries for which the suit was brought. She did not remember whether there were lights on, but it was a bright, sunny day and there was sufficient light from the outside to enable her to see where she was going.

The trial court dismissed the action on the ground that no negligence had been shown on the part of any of the defendants. Plaintiff now appeals.

hondo59 on October 25, 2008 at 10:51 am

RKO closed the State in New Brunswick, and the Lincoln and Trent in downtown Trenton, in October, 1972.

JerseyGeorge on February 1, 2008 at 5:56 pm

This is an older rendering:

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JerseyGeorge on December 22, 2007 at 4:12 pm

NickyG, the midnight cult stuff – Rocky Horror, Eraserhead, The Harder They Come, etc. — played at the Strand, known in those days as the Art Cinema, on the corner of George and Albany.

NickyG on July 17, 2007 at 11:15 am

Seem to recall midnite cult stuff like Eraserhead and Rocky Horror played there in 70s (unless I’m confusing with another place in New Brunswick)….

Rickyrab on October 20, 2006 at 8:15 am

I need to get down to Bloustein (a school in the large red building next to the State Theatre) more often. Didn’t know they had concerts on Wednesdays in September. The State Theatre has mainly been doing business as a live theater lately with one-or-two-showing shows: a play one week, another play the next week, perhaps a celebrity or two the week after, and maybe Indian dance to boot the week after. It also fills up the street in front of Bloustein on some evenings.

teecee on April 24, 2006 at 2:07 pm

The theater will celebrate its 85th anniversary with a silent film series beginning in December. Excerpted from today’s Star Ledger:

“The theater also kicks off a silent film series on Dec. 26 with "White Oak,” the movie that opened the State 85 years ago. The free screening will have full musical accompaniment.

“We thought this would ring a chord with people,” Brustad says. “We get good prints, and Dennis James has actually tracked the scores of the music that the studio used to accompany the films.”

Additional films in the series include Rudolph Valentino in “The Son of the Sheik” (Feb. 11) and “Ben Hur” (March 25). Admission is $15."

teecee on September 9, 2005 at 1:59 am

Old program listing 1927 movies:

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teecee on September 7, 2005 at 7:39 am

Recent photos of architectural details:
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teecee on September 7, 2005 at 1:56 am

Nice old postcard (thanks to lostmemory for this website):
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teecee on September 2, 2005 at 4:43 am

Restoration information from the Rutgers student newspaper can be seen here.

teecee on June 12, 2005 at 8:18 am

An old photo can be seen on page 116 of the Arcadia Publishing book “New Brunswick”. Theater style is listed as BEAUX ARTS.

richardg on May 13, 2005 at 7:37 pm

I saw this theatre from the outside in 1988 and 17 years later finally saw the inside. The huge balcony and connected loge seat 900 people — just a few shy of the main floor seating capacity. This production of “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” wasn’t so great but the theatre was. The crystal chandelier in the auditorium is magnificent and the smaller matching one in the balcony area is also breath-taking.
Today, the State seats a total of 1850. The train ride from Manhattan to New Brunswick is only 50 minutes and well worth the trip. Hope you’ll make the effort to see this one.

richardg on February 14, 2004 at 2:26 pm

I’ve never seen the State but while looking for another theatre’s website I stumbled across a website for the State

William on December 9, 2003 at 10:55 am

The RKO State Theatre is located at 17 Livingston Ave. and it seated 2076 people as of the 1955 listings.

LisaGH on November 6, 2003 at 8:17 am

Dear Mark,

I’m the communications manager for the State Theatre and would enjoy the opportunity to update our entry. How may I do so?

Thanks, Lisa