State one step away from being demolished!

posted by dallas56 on April 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

OWATONNA, MN — The City of Owatonna will incur cost of razing State Theater!

A proposal to demolish the State Theater took one more step forward on Tuesday, April 9, 2009.

The theater has sat empty since 1996.

If all goes according to plan, the current owners listed as Newco Theaters, Inc.,will donate the building and the land to the city of Owatonna. Then the city will pay for asbestos removal and city workers will demolish the building. After the theater has been razed, the city will sell the property to a buyer waiting in the wings, which plans to construct an office building in the Spring of 2010.

The city would incur most of the costs. The demolition would cost $80,000 to $90,000, but with in-kind labor from city crew the cost should fall to into the $50,000 to $60,000 range. That would not include asbestos removal, which would carry a price tag of $15,000 to $20,000.

The council unanimously voted in support of the measure.

The State is on the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota’s 2007 list of the “Ten Most Endangered Historic Places."

Check out the news story on Fox 12 Mankato

Preservation of the State would provide a catalyst for downtown development. Combining the old with the new certainly has its place in a theater’s revival. Renovations also represent a foundation that Owatonna’s historic downtown district can build upon in the coming years.

The Preservation of a Historic Landmark for future generations is extremely important to the citizens of this community.

One of the greatest benefits of cultural heritage tourism is the diversification of local economies and the preservation of a community’s unique character.


The State Theater, located in downtown Owatonna, is a one-story Art Deco-style building that opened as a movie theater in 1935. The original interior included a 35' high ceiling, four distinct arches, Art Deco sconces, 1,000 seats, plush curtains and a vaudeville stage. Two small retail spaces are located on each side of the main entry. During the 1970s and 1980s the building was “modernized" through two separate renovations, dividing the auditorium to accommodate three screens. Most of the original features remain in place behind these renovations. The theater closed in 1996 and has since been vacant. In August 2006.

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