State Theatre

100 Park Street,
Tupper Lake, NY 12986

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DavidZornig on November 3, 2018 at 10:04 pm

1914 photo as Palace Theatre added courtesy of Dale Rounds.

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!!

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.

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.

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!!

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?

gd14lawn on September 7, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Congratulations Sally, that’s great news!

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!

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!

gd14lawn on January 5, 2011 at 9:31 pm


2 screens 203 total seats 135 down and 68 up.

Twinned in 1985

Official website:

gd14lawn on January 2, 2011 at 9:12 pm

Picture of the State from 1958:

View link

gd14lawn on January 2, 2011 at 12:32 pm

The following is a quote from the Tupper Lake Free Press in 1914.

“A dozen men and an equal number of teams commenced clearing away the snow in the lot adjoining the Family Theatre on March 20th, marking the beginning of what will be one of the finest theatre buildings in Franklin County, estimated to cost close to $15,000. The red barn on the property is to be removed by the contractor. B.B. Lantry, to the Paul Prespare lot in French Village.” That was the groundwork for the Palace (later the State) Theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 31, 2010 at 10:34 am

Who ripped the “ON GOLDEN POND” one sheet into.Boy,Iam good,bet no one else even noticed.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 31, 2010 at 3:14 am

This theater was not a quonset hut. this photo shows a standard boxy theater building. Quonset huts were first built in 1941 in any case, and this theater is supposed to have been built in 1914.

gd14lawn on December 31, 2010 at 12:16 am

The State (Palace) Theatre was not the Family Theatre. The Tupper Lake newspaper shows that the Family Theatre was located on Main St., in the McNeeley Block.

The State has survived the loss of both of it’s adjacent buildings. There were fires in 1957 and 1966 that took those buildings down but the theatre survived intact due to it’s thick fire walls.

roy12986 on April 6, 2008 at 12:48 pm

SHAME SHAME. We would love to support our local theater, but it’s so cold in the winter you can’t stay in there.We have repeatedly told them but to date 4/2008 nothing has been done. The summer is hot as well in there. Fix the problem and you would see alot more people in there. Sigh I can’t take the grandkids and sit there with hats and gloves on. We walked out of the last show. AGAIN SHAME SHAME.

MovieMountainMan on August 2, 2007 at 9:43 am

It was indeed built in 1914. It is entirely possible that the name was changed (as was nearby Lake Placid’s theatre, from the “Adirondack” to the “Palace”).

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 2, 2007 at 9:27 am

The opening description above states ‘Built in 1914….’. In the American Motion Picture Directory 1914-1915 there is only one theatre listed in Tupper Lake; Family Theatre, Park Street, Tupper Lake, NY

MovieMountainMan on August 2, 2007 at 9:16 am

Hate to disagree, but having lived in Tupper Lake since 1987, I can assure the above poster that the State has never been a “second run house.” It was purchased from the non-profit group by one of its supporters, Jeff Szot, of JS Cinemas. As part of a larger chain during the 90s, it showed first run films within that circuit, meaning films would often open in another theater owned by JS Cinemas, and arrive at the State within the first 2 weeks of release. However, due to the run-down condition of the theater, attendance was less than stellar.

Now, the State is a Twin, with some of the best surround sound in the Adirondacks. The lobby has been restored with its original ceiling intact, and everything within has been replaced, from seats to screens. Bravo, Sally!

joemasher on September 19, 2004 at 5:40 am

I managed the State in 1985 for a short time. It was a one-man operation, as the box office had been moved inside behind the concession stand and a new projection booth had been built on the ground floor, accessed through a door behind the concession stand. The State was at one time part of the Schine chain.