State Theater

1217 State Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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Late `40's photo of the State Theater. Photo courtesy of the Lincoln Land Facebook page.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I believe it was built in the early 1940’s, across the street from the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara.

In the 1980’s, it was gutted and the seating area was transformed into a arcade. In the late-1980’s/early1990’s, it was converted again into retail stores and a recording studio, erasing all traces of its movie past.

In the late-1990’s what was left was razed and permanent retail stores were built.

Contributed by Scott Padrick

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

William on October 2, 2002 at 5:14 pm

The State Theatre was located at 1217 State Street. This theatre may date back to being called the Rose Theatre from the early 30’s. which was one of four theatres that Warner ran in the city. The Rose was closed off and on during the 30’s and disappeared around the late 30’s about the time the State opened. The first listings for the State is from around 1940.

William on February 17, 2004 at 3:20 pm

The State Theatre seated 685 people.

MagicLantern on May 24, 2004 at 11:40 am

City directory lists it first in 1942, at 1219 State Street (but you know how malleable these street addresses were over time). It closed around 1981. The Rose Theatre was at 904 State Street and was last listed in 1931.

MagicLantern on July 8, 2004 at 12:19 pm

A Unity Shoppe thrift store now resides at this address.

GaryParks on July 8, 2004 at 3:07 pm

During its time as a video arcade in the early 1980s, the moderne styled marquee with abundant neon remained intact.

JeffPhoto on July 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm

For those interested I have a photo the State Theater taken around 1964. If you wish a copy, just let me know and I shall email to you.
my email address is

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 14, 2008 at 11:50 pm

Southwest Builder & Contractor’s issue of June 23, 1939, carried an item saying that Clifford Balch was preparing plans for a remodeling and expansion of the State Theatre at Santa Barbara. Work was to include a 57 foot extension at the rear of the building.

The August 29, 1941 issue of SwB&C mentioned that the owner of the State Theatre was, at that time, Earl O. Calvert. Calvert was also the owner of the Lompoc Theatre in the Santa Barbara County town of Lompoc, and a few years later opened the La Mesa Theatre there, as well.

TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 8:49 pm

No photos? Man there must be hundreds of STATE THEATRES, I know LOEWS had many named STATE>

JeffPhoto on October 10, 2013 at 11:17 am

I worked at the State Theater in the early 60s while attending Brooks Institute of Photography. I remember one night Fess Parker came in to watch a movie. It was a great job while going to Brooks. Anyone else work there?

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