State Palace Theatre

1108 Canal Street,
New Orleans, LA 70112

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State Palace

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1926 for the Loew’s circuit, the State Theatre was designed by the prodigious theater architect, Thomas W. Lamb. Around the same time that Loew’s opened the State Theatre, the Saenger circuit opened their theater directly across Canal Street.

Originally seating 3,335, and designed in a mix of Renaissance motifs, the State Theatre also contained a 3/13 Robert Morton organ similar to that installed at the same time in the Saenger Theatre. Unfortunately, unlike the Saenger Theatre’s organ, the State Theatre’s did not survive, being heavily damaged during a flood and left to fall into disrepair in the ensuing decades.

In 1976, the State Theatre was tripled. After closing as a movie house in the late-1980’s, the partition was removed, and the State Theatre was restored and renamed, as the State Palace Theatre, screening classic movies and offering concerts.

Today, the State Palace Theatre is primarily used a a concert venue, featuring mostly techno and electronica bands, with the occaisional rave. Big-name rock and punk bands often make appearances, and the State Palace Theatre also hosts local talent nights as well.

Though it is somewhat rough along the edges, the State Palace Theatre still has a definite faded elegance that adds to its atmosphere, as well as excellent accoustics, making it one of New Orleans' enduring entertainment destinations.

Sadly, the State Palace Theatre has been closed since February 2007.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 76 comments)

spectrum on August 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Latest news on the State Theatre:

The Theatre has been bought by Gregor Fox who plans to renovate both the interior and exterior and return the building to commercial use – and “contribute to the arts community”

spectrum on August 19, 2014 at 5:43 pm

Another detailed article about the restoration, with a lot of interior photos:

Mikeoaklandpark on August 20, 2014 at 9:12 pm

The last time I was in NO was 2003 and the theater was open Labor Day weekend showing movies. I do remember they showed The Godfather, Cabaret and Lady Sings The Blues that weekend. Prior to that it was a club so I am not sure what they used for a screen

Orleans1788 on October 21, 2014 at 4:43 am

Remember the Lowes still showed grindhouse/exploitation films in the late 1980s. I went to see Robocop in 1987 and the previews before the film had topless girls running around, in some slasher film. I used to go to the Lowes in the 80s and 90s, they had hamburgers and double features. I stopped going when it started showing adult movies. Does anyone remember when that change was made must have been early 90s?

Chris1982 on October 21, 2014 at 7:11 am

Loew’s was the theatre chain, Lowes is the home improvement chain.

Orleans1788 on October 23, 2014 at 2:03 am

Loew’s state, it was a typo.

Cajundweeb on December 22, 2014 at 4:19 am

This building has been sold and, from what I hear, is going to be reopened as a theatre sort of like the Saenger across the street. NO MORE RAVES.

frank gagliano
frank gagliano on June 18, 2015 at 10:51 am

The sale to Gregor Fox dooms this theater to sit for years in its current state of damage and deterioration. Mr. Fox stated in a local news article that he plans to first renovate the commercial retail space within the building to then fund the renovation of the theater; a process that may take up to ten years. Personally, I do not believe him. I think his intention is to use the leases from the retail spaces on Canal to pay the annual taxes until he can flip the property to legitimate developers years from now at a tremendous profit. Mr. Fox has little experience in real estate development, nor does he have the resources, or experience, to renovate a 1920s movie palace to its former glory. He purchased the theater and the property it sits on for just $3 million. Mr. Fox believes that the theater can be fully renovated for $10 million, this when the renovation of the Saenger Theater located across from the Loew’s was recently performed at a cost exceeding $50 million. I hope I’m mistaken, but there is no evidence that the Loew’s is coming back anytime soon. Every indication is that it will remain a blight on Canal Street for years to come.

Here is a link verifying the information I have provided…

DavidZornig on October 7, 2015 at 1:56 am

1951 night shot added courtesy of Carl Schreiber.
Loew’s neon center right.

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