564 State Street,
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Architects: Walter W. Ahlschlager
Styles: Italian Renaissance
Opened on 26th August 1926 with Buster Keaton in “Battling Butler”. The State Theatre on State Street in downtown Hammond was the largest of several movie palaces in the city when it opened, and, at over 3,000 seats, one of the largest in Indiana at the time. It was built by the Karzas brothers who operated the Trianon and Aragon Balrooms in Chicago.
Lavishly appointed inside, complete with an Italian Renaissance terra-cotta facade, the State Theatre not only offered motion pictures, but live stage shows as well.
The State Building, besides housing the State Theatre, also contained the Granada Ballroom (which later became a roller skating rink), several storefronts, and office space on the upper floors.
Unfortunately, this beautiful movie house’s career would be extremely short-lived, since an bomb exploded on 8th November 1927, all but obliterating the theater auditorium, which was eventually demolished. The Granada Ballroom suffered some damage, and was closed for a while but re-opened after some time.
Retail would eventually fill up the former theater lobby space, including a supermarket, a furniture store and a laundromat. In 1943, a blaze destroyed the former Granada Ballroom and the supermarket on the ground floor below it.
In 1947, the city ordered the building’s owner to have the huge vertical marquee, several stories tall, torn down, due to its starting to become unstable.
The State Building was razed in 1967 to make way for the main Hammond Public Library building, which opened in 1968.
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