State Theatre

913 Washington Avenue,
Bay City, MI 48708

Unfavorite 6 people favorited this theater

State Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built as the Bijou Theatre in 1908, this former vaudeville palace added movies to its programming and by 1921 it had been renamed the Orpheum Theatre.

In 1930, architect C. Howard Crane was hired to gut and rebuild the interior of the theatre which he did in an Art Deco/Mayan aesthetic. When it reopened under the W.S. Butterfield chain, the theater was renamed again as the Bay Theatre and it had 710 seats. By the 1950’s, the Bay Theatre was renamed again as the State Theatre and received a new marquee.

The theatre was later saved by the Friends of the State and is currently owned by the Bay City Downtown Development Authority.

The theatre’s new owners embarked on a massive renovation, with over $2 million in funds raised for the project, it was completed by early 2006.

Contributed by Nick Suchyta, Dennis Atkinson

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

johntru
johntru on September 24, 2008 at 3:25 am

More State Theater photos here:

View link

Shemphoward
Shemphoward on September 24, 2008 at 12:44 pm

Re: the new marquee…………
Really would have loved to see a closer replica more true to the old “Bay” marquee, than this flashy digital animated thing. Yes, I’m a purist, but I really think this missed the mark.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 6, 2009 at 7:43 pm

Here are some photos of the marquee coming down from the Bay City Times in August 2008:
http://tinyurl.com/9zj3r4

zabriskie
zabriskie on February 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

Sorry, but I think the original marquee was much nicer and historically significant. the new one is flashy but too plastic.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

This is a nice 2009 photo.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 27, 2009 at 2:55 pm

New Marquee is nice, but I like the old one better,but no one asked me.

SchineHistorian
SchineHistorian on March 26, 2011 at 10:50 am

Theatre Historical Society will be visiting this theater during our 2011 Conclave – “The Michigan Roads Less Traveled” June 21-25. See the website for details www.historictheatres.org

LouRugani
LouRugani on September 11, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Built in 1908 during the booming lumbering era in Michigan, the STATE Theatre was known as the BIJOU and was redone in 1930 by C. Howard Crane, who used local labor using hand-crafted plaster casts for the 9,500 square-foot theatre. As years passed and owners changed, the Mayan murals were painted over and water damage became evident. The Dow Chemical Company Foundation provided financial support for the restoration project.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater