State Theater

105 E. Stephenson Street,
Freeport, IL 61032

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Auditorium of the State Theater. Photo courtesy of the

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The New State Theater opened in 1948, by the Marchesi Brothers, who had operated the original State Theater from 1935 until 1948 at another address on Stephenson Street in a converted store.

The New State could seat almost twice the amount of the original’s 350. In the mid-1950’s the State (it had dropped the “New” by then) was taken over by the owner of the Lindo (then still known as the Freeport), who ran the State until it closed in 1964. The theater was reopened five years later by the Chicago-based Great States circuit, which continued to operate it for many years.

The State closed in the late 1980’s, and was razed in November 1994.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Andy69
Andy69 on October 1, 2006 at 1:17 am

I recall this theater closing sometime in the Spring of 1986, with “To Live And Die In L.A.” being the last feature shown there. I’d seen “Jagged Edge” at this theater just a couple of months before that, for an admission price of $1.50. There may have been a half dozen other patrons in the theater for this showing, which made the interior of the theater appear positively cavernous. I’d seen “Day Of The Dead” at this theater in the late Summer of ‘85 and that feature played to a nearly empty house, as well, so it didn’t surprise me much when I found out the theater had shut down less than a year later.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm

I forgot to add the name of the person who posted the 3 B&W 1948 photos, that I re-posted in the Photos Section above. They were originally posted by Crystal Cheeseman Roling Porter to the “You know you’re from Freeport if…” Facebook page.

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