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 70 comments)

Driveintheatre2001 on January 22, 2012 at 6:45 am

A March 2010 Photo I took of the State Palace (Loews) Theatre..

Randy A Carlisle — Historical Photographer

zephyr on May 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

I’ve been hearing a lot of rurmors that more than one party is interested in buying the building. Rumor is that one of these suitors has the idea of converting the Loew’s into a bowling alley and music venue.

It appears that the New Orlens Downtown Development District, the quasi-public agency responsible for the the redevelopment of Canal Street, may be once again on the brink of dropping the ball (bowling ball?). One would think that with the situation involving the LaSalle Hotel, a property immediatly adjacent to the historic Saenger Theatre, the Development District would be working harder not to appear so very inept. The Saenger is undergoing a 50 million dollar historic restoration that is partially govenment funded. Along the way it was reported in the local paper that other developers have gotten partial govenment funding to turn the LaSalle Hotel into low income housing. What a debacle, low income housing immediatly adjacent to the crown jewel of New Orleans theatres. That ought to pack-em into the theatre!

Now we hear of the Loew’s State situation. Is a bowling alley really appropriate in a Thomas Lamb theater from 1926? This building is in very workable condition an should be returned to commerce as some type of theatrical venue. A bowling alley in this building would not only be disgraceful but an awful addition to the 1100 block of Canal Street – bowling alley, a low income housing development, and the historic Saenger Theatre. If the City is really commited to creating a theatre district utilizing the the existing historic theatres in this two block area they are certainly making a mess of it.

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on October 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

I recently photographed the State Palace Theatre. Check out the photos and a write up at After the Final Curtain

frank gagliano
frank gagliano on February 5, 2014 at 11:25 pm

Breaking news! Contracts have been signed to execute a full restoration of the Loews State Theater and its satellite properties. The New Orleans Downtown Development District and MCC Group, a local contractor, inked a deal on 2/5/14 to invest $32 million to return the facility to its former glory as a legitimate theater and entertainment venue.

This on the legs of the recent $52 mIllion restoration of the opulent Saenger Theater opposite the Loews, the city’s $47 million renovation of the Mahalia Jackson Theater soon after after Katrina, a recently announced $16 million restoration of the Orpheum, and $5 million restorations of both the Joy and Civic; all downtown. Just outside of downtown, several million are being invested in the restoration of a large 1940’s neighborhood theater that once served the black community, the Carver.

As such, ALL remaining New Orleans theaters once abandoned, or those severely damaged by Katrina, will, in effect, be new again… These are exciting times for theater lovers in New Orleans.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on February 5, 2014 at 11:57 pm

This is great news. When I was there at the end of January the entire downtown area, and that area of Canal Street, looked amazing compared to my previous visit to NOLA. The restoration of the State completes an incredible recovery for the theater district. By the way, the ongoing restoration of the Carver is rivaled only by that of the Saenger and the Joy. Hoping for great success for all of these theaters, as well as ongoing success of the Prytania.

KCB3Player on June 6, 2014 at 8:46 pm

I am so very happy for the people of NO that those beautiful downtown theaters are being saved and rennovated. I think there were several in the French Qtr too, not sure that status of those. I hope we will see pics of the rennovation status.

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

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