State Cinema

241 N. Main Street,
Mooresville, NC 28115

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Clint beats Troma

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The State Theatre was the last indoor theatre of the 1930’s, 1940’s & 1950’s to open in Mooresville. The theatre opened in 1950 and was the larger of the three (Caroline Theatre, Center Theatre and State Theatre) with seating for 630 patrons. There were some street number changes in the early-1940’s in which they were increased by 100. The State Theatre like its two sister theatres was managed by Mr. Dale Groome in 1950. In September 1974 it was renamed State Cinema. It was closed in September 1985.

Contributed by Stephen

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

binchwb on August 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

This was one tough theater to track down. I had a recollection from childhood of walking down Main St. in Mooresville with my family (we were visiting from Charlotte). We came across a small theater that was closed in the afternoons which had what appeared to be a tiny lobby/concession area, woefully outdated decor, and horror/exploitation movies playing. “Alligator” was the movie playing at the time and there was a poster up for “Mother’s Day” – the original Troma version – coming soon. I remembered the movies vividly because I was around 10 years-old at the time and was a little frightened of them, especially the Mother’s Day poster with the head in a box.

Looking back, I realized I had passed by what I considered to be a (rare) NC grindhouse theater. In recent years, I’ve been curious to learn more about this place. When I saw the overview here that it closed in 1950, I thought maybe I had remembered the wrong town, however I checked through an online database for some old Mooresville Tribune newspapers from 1980 and found that this is the theater I was looking for. Here’s what I found:

  • The address is 241 N. Main St.

  • On May 11, 1955, cowboy movie star Tim Holt appeared at the State Theatre

  • The State Theatre changed its name to State Cinema with a marquee change in September 1974.

  • State Cinema closed in September 1985, the same month that the Mooresville-Davidson Drive-In closed.

binchwb on August 11, 2016 at 9:27 am

Most of the State Cinema ads I saw from 1980 and 1981 promoted a Friday Teen Night with dancing from 9:00pm to 11:00pm after the movie, with a lighted dance floor. Funny enough, the early-to-mid 1980 ads promoted it as “Disco” while that word is noticably absent from later ads.

I figured out that I saw this place in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day 1981 – Alligator played there from 2/13 to 2/19/81, so Saturday the 14th (now that’s a bad movie) would have been the time I was there with my family.

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