Beale Street Theatre

304 Beale Street,
Kingman, AZ 86401

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State Theater

Built in 1939, the State Theatre served downtown Kingman just off old Route 66. It replaced the Lang Theatre, which had opened in 1917. It was operated by the Harry L. Nace Theatres chain.

Reportedly the theatre closed shortly after shortly after the 40 went through north of the town, bypassing this section of 66. I’m told the last picture playing was “Star Wars”, but since that opened in 1977, perhaps they meant “Empire Strikes Back” (1980).

An antique/used furniture store now uses the space. The screen is gone, but the seats are all still in place and the stage still exists. The lobby and old restrooms are used for storage. The current entrance is on Beale Street, but my research indicates the old entrance was at 200 N. 4th Street, on the corner.

The manager in 1959 was Ira Rawlings. In 1961 it was Jason Penhallegon, according to local phone books.

The interior is worn, but not in too bad a shape. In 2016 fundraising was underway with a view to renovate and restore the theatre. By November 2018 it had reopened as the Beale Street Theatre.

Contributed by Jeff Zimmer

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

DavidDymond
DavidDymond on September 5, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Harry L. Nace was a Paramount Theater operating partner in this territory!!

KingmanAz
KingmanAz on May 5, 2016 at 11:13 pm

I moved to Kingman in 1980 and view many movies in this theater. Around 1983 a new theater was constructed (not by the same owners) and this one was closed. We also had a drive-in movie theater to the north of the community. In reference to a recent article (4/26/2016) in the Kingman Daily Miner…“Effort under way to breathe new life into old theater”. The building has been sold and a local group wants (and will) to restore and turn this facility to a place for performing arts. I praise them for their endeavors to make this possible. This Saturday May 7th 5-8 at the Old Elks Lodge (4th & Oak St) Downtown Kingman there will be a fundraiser for renovating the theatre. Please come and support this great project!! It is wonderful to see this historical building come back to life as the Route 66 Beale Street Theater aka State Theater. For more information go to www.bealestreettheater.com

Senorsock
Senorsock on May 11, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Still don’t know how a renovation is going to work considering the parking situation around the theatre, but more power to them as they try to restore this old house! Here’s a link to the story: http://kdminer.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=797&ArticleID=69898

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm

The State Theatre’s entrance was on Beale Street, so its address should be 304 Beale.

BST_KatieKint
BST_KatieKint on May 30, 2017 at 2:58 pm

The renovation is going on, slowly as funds must be raised as we go. There are theatrical productions being presented in other venues to raise funds for the project. The next one is “Peter Pan” in June at Kingman High School. An animation of the projected renovated theater can be seen at https://www.bealestreettheater.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Beale-Street-Theater-1.0.m4v?_=1

BST_KatieKint
BST_KatieKint on October 28, 2018 at 11:58 pm

The parking situation is not a huge worry for this theater. There is a lot of parking on adjacent streets, not far, very walkable. Since it will still be a relatively small venue, we don’t expect to have many problems of that nature, no more than there were when the State Theater first opened. There has recently been a beautiful new mural painted on the back of the building as part of a local “Art Alley” project. The theater should be reopening sometime in the next couple of years, as fundraising is a slow, but ongoing process.

dansdriveintheater
dansdriveintheater on November 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm

now called the beale street theater please update

BST_KatieKint
BST_KatieKint on July 15, 2019 at 2:47 pm

No, don’t update to Beale Street Theater as it’s main name just yet, though referencing it as an alternative name would be nice. It is still known as the State Theater by many. It should also retain that older reference here as BST will be a completely new entity to many who won’t know the connection. There will be a new marquee of course (digital but in the style of an old theater marquee) and many updates. The renovation is slow but ongoing as funds are raised. We expect it to speed up over time as we near our fundraising goals, and it will again be an asset to the community. Right now, we have a grant challenge—if we can raise up to $100K on our own, a local business will match it. If you wish to contribute, you can go to https://www.bealestreettheater.com/donate/capital-campaign/

BST_KatieKint
BST_KatieKint on July 15, 2019 at 2:51 pm

This theater is actually in its second location (under that name). The original theater opened in 1939 and was on 4th street at Beale, which is now home to vintage shops and a tattoo shop. Due to outgrowing that location, the Rawlings then moved to it’s current location on Beale Street at 3rd, opening in the late 1940s, usually quoted as 1949 but some believe it could have opened as early as 1948.

BST_KatieKint
BST_KatieKint on July 15, 2019 at 2:53 pm

Some information on the theater’s history, that I referenced in my previous comment. https://www.bealestreettheater.com/history/

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