State Theatre

609 Congress Street,
Portland, ME 4101

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The State Theatre opened on 8th November 1929 and was designed in a semi-Atmospheric/Spanish style. The original seating capacity was for 2,300. It operated as a first run movie house until the late-1960’s, when it became a porn theater.

In 1989, the theatre was closed and fell into disrepair. By the mid-1990’s, the theatre was saved and restored. It closed for a brief time after its restoration and was reopened by new owners as a performing arts and concerts venue.

Closed again in early-2007, it was the last of the movie palaces left in the city of Portland, Maine.

The State Theatre re-opened in October 2010 as a concert and live performance venue.

Contributed by Michael Mitchell

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

DennisLeight
DennisLeight on October 17, 2005 at 3:24 pm

The State has a 2/8 Wurlitzer theatre organ, which is one of the few original installations remaining. I knew the manager back in the late 60’s to early 1970’s and used to enjoy playing there at times when the theatre was closed, usually early in the morning. The theatre was showing only pornography then and opened at 10 AM most days. The organ is still playable, although I understand that the console lift no longer works. The organ is almost never heard today and is never serviced. The last time I saw it was about 1976.

darklight
darklight on March 28, 2007 at 12:18 am

sad to say the state theatre is closed and up for sale.

stevepatrick
stevepatrick on November 24, 2007 at 2:08 am

Could someone please update the status of The State Theatre? Is it still closed? Is it still up for sale? If it’s for sale, any idea on the asking price? How about the name of the brokerage company, if any, and if you know the owner’s name I would appreciate that as well. Thanks for any information you can share.

tas9
tas9 on December 5, 2007 at 1:46 am

State Theater is currently owed by Stone Coast Properties, www.stonecoastproperties.com They own the entire Congress Building and have been making improvements and upgrades to the building since they bought it. They are currently looking for the right tenant for the State Theater, and if you are interested, you should call them. The State is a great place to see a show!

uptownjen
uptownjen on June 28, 2008 at 3:24 am

just watched the guster concert film ‘guster on ice’, which was filmed at this theatre in 2004.

sad to see that it is closed.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2008 at 12:19 am

The State Theatre, photographed in the snow in January 2008;
View link

maleman
maleman on August 6, 2009 at 8:54 pm

Chuck 1231 when the state theatre started showing porn movies they
made a 2nd screen in the balcony.Thats why in the pic it says state 1 and state 2.When they restored the state theatre that screen was removed during that time.Its a One screen theatre like it was before it was a porn theater.You should find out the facts before you make your comments.

spectrum
spectrum on November 16, 2010 at 5:33 am

The state has reopened! According to their new website they have undergone extensive renovations and they have a variety of events coming up. Movies are included among their events – Dec. 3 has a special showing of the Wizard of Oz.

bicyclereporter
bicyclereporter on August 4, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I was there the other day on a bike trip. It was my last nite in town and I really wanted some interiors. The staff was nice enough to let me roam the place, even though a huge band was about to take the stage, and unaccompanied, no less. I got about 15 minutes of pix everywhere, including orchestra and both balconies. Upstairs is NOT ornate in the balconies at all. Love looking at atmospheric. No crazy ceilings or chandeliers. I’ll post pix sometime soon.

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