State Theatre

100 Park Street,
Tupper Lake, NY 12986

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it  is open

Viewing: Photo | Street View

I first discovered the State Theatre in 1976, when it was closed. Originally opened in July 1914 as the Palace Theatre with 500 seats, the State Theatre had closed in 1975, and in 1982, a non-profit group was organized with the goal of re-opening the State Theatre. The goal was achieved in 1984, and the State Theatre showed its first film, “On Golden Pond”, after nine years of darkness. It has remained in continuous operation since its re-opening.

The State Theatre is a small plain village theatre that recently acquired a new owner and a new format. After years of being a second run house, the State Theatre is now a first run theatre. The new owner has increased attendance through first run films and has twinned the theatre by converting the small balcony into a second theatre. Seating is now provided for 135 in the former orchestra level and 68 in the former balcony level.

The 1930’s or thereabouts renovation added a tiled facade which is Art Deco, but the exterior housing the auditorium can kindly be described only as “very basic”.

Sally, the new owner and sucessful restauranteur, is a former projectionist who sounds like she has the energy and expertise to keep the State Theatre a viable theatre.

Contributed by Richard Grows

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on January 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Picture of the State from 1958:

View link

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on January 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm

THIS THEATRE NEEDS TO BE UPDATED

2 screens 203 total seats 135 down and 68 up.

Twinned in 1985

Official website: http://tupperlakemovies.com/

salssss
salssss on June 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

It was twinned in 2005. Tupper Lake is declining in population and it’s really hard to stay open all winter. I’m the owner—and go to work downstate to keep it going…there are some renovations planned soon, keep tuned!

salssss
salssss on September 7, 2013 at 2:51 am

We have just raised enough money to go digital! My quotes are done and orders are just going in! The community stepped in and helped us convert…also we got a grant from the state (for small businesses, not for theaters only) which was a large part of what we needed. Next year our theater turns 100 years old…and it will be thriving for its hundredth birthday!

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on September 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Congratulations Sally, that’s great news!

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on October 17, 2013 at 1:18 am

I see that you are temporarily closed for installation of the digital equipment. Do you have a date for the reopening?

salssss
salssss on October 17, 2013 at 6:30 am

I am currently waiting for the arrival of the equipment…it is arriving from all over, including being imported from Canada. Once it all arrives, installation should take no more than a week assuming no problems! I’m hearing the new silver screen for the 3D downstairs will be the last to arrive, sometime early in November. So 3D may be a bit later. We just also had a new boiler put in…which will keep us warm all winter!!

I couldn’t be more excited for what this all means to the theater and to Tupper Lake!!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2013 at 6:34 pm

The Warrensburgh News of November 24, 1927, had an item about improvements to the Palace Theatre in Tupper Lake. The lobby had been doubled in size, the boxoffice moved to one side of the entrance to provide five exit doors instead of the previous two, the sidewalk had been rebuilt to eliminate stairs at the theater entrance, and a new marquee with eighty electric lights had been installed. The project had cost $5,000.

I have found references to a Mr. William A. Donovan being the operator of the Palace Theatre at Tupper Lake as early as 1915 and as late as 1931.

On October 21, 1968, the Watertown Times ran the obituary of Mrs. William A. Donovan, saying that since her marriage she had assisted her husband in the operation of Donovan’s studio gift shop and the State Theatre, so unless this Mr. Donovan was the son of the original owner, he must have operated this theater for more than half a century.

On April 5, 1923, Variety published a brief article that included this information: “Tupper Lake will be scene of picture opposition. A second house is being created by F. G. Pond, of Malone, backed by local capital.” I don’t know if Mr.Pond’s theater was built. In 1924, issues of Variety indicated that he was in financial trouble, and had been obliged to stop selling stock in his company that had intended to build theaters in several small towns upstate. In any case, the item indicates that, as of 1923, there was only one movie theater operating in Tupper Lake.

gd14lawn
gd14lawn on October 18, 2013 at 12:40 am

The Lyric Theatre opened in the town of Faust in 1913 and was managed by A.A. Cluett. it was remodeled and reopened as the Adirondack Theatre on July 16, 1940. In 1941 the town of Faust was absorbed into the village of Tupper Lake. The Adirondack operated into the 1950’s and by 1959 was closed. Perhaps they are talking about the theatre in Faust.

salssss
salssss on October 18, 2013 at 5:59 am

Thanks for the research! I’ve been trying to compile info on just what the theater looked like inside…as we renovate, I’ve been trying to preserve any original details we uncover.

I did find an article that described the interior…it was hard to read the scan but I did make out that describes honey taupe drapes inside, new screen, new and larger screen, ceiling canary yellow with lettuce green trim. New tiled floors in lobby in pleasing blue and grey colors, new ticket booth in front, comfortable bathrooms to the side, and the most startling change, the new Schine’s State Theater marquee. This was in the Tupper Lake Free Press on March 7, 1935.

I’ve been trying to find photos of the old interior but have had no luck, so if anyone out there has anything, let me know? Thanks!!

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