State Theatre

687 Central Avenue,
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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Showing 19 comments

DavidZornig on June 27, 2018 at 6:42 pm

Sold and to be restored.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 4, 2017 at 4:31 pm

A document listing historic buildings in St, Petersburg says that the 1924 bank building which was converted into the State Theatre in 1950 was designed by Atlanta architect Neel Reid.

Reid’s fine Beaux Arts facade is still intact, but judging from the two interior shots in this web gallery the original interior is gone. It looks like much of Archie Parish’s streamlined 1950 remodeling probably remains.

Lance_Olson on December 4, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Please note that I don’t know the details of capacity restriction and understand from the media that ISD has increased capacity somewhat, so the owners are making progress. The city needs more theaters so I hope it will return and I’d love to help the owners bring it back for mixed program events and films.

Lance_Olson on December 4, 2017 at 1:57 pm

Currently this is a music venue. They pulled the main floor seats. ISD has reduced the capacity due to life safety issues; owners fighting for the extra capacity.

rivest266 on October 9, 2017 at 9:39 am

This opened on May 1st, 1950. Grand opening ad in photo section.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on November 21, 2016 at 2:01 pm

Cecil sent me to the State and Cameo, but they both closed before I got to work there. Chuck Horton was at the Cameo and John was at the State.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on November 21, 2016 at 1:59 pm

I checked out the Plaza booth under Cecil Fernandez, but I never got to work there.

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on November 21, 2016 at 1:41 pm

An additional comment regarding the PLAZA TWIN THEATRES … The last 70mm print ran at the theatre was BRAINSTORM with Christopher Walken. Of course, I was there in the projection booth.

P. K. "Budd" Ballard
P. K. "Budd" Ballard on November 21, 2016 at 1:33 pm

Sorry ROCKSALT, but the PLAZA TWIN THEATRES in St. Petersburg, built for Florida Theatres and later owned by ABC, Cobb and Cineplex Odeon, was equipped to run 70mm in theatre one. As an IATSE projectionist, I was an operator there for many years. The projectors and soundheads were CENTURY and the sound amps were all ALTEC. The projectors in theatre one were CENTURY 35-70’s and theatre two were CENTURY straight 35’s.

jimmyj on December 14, 2013 at 6:34 am

RockSalt: I knew your Father or Grand Father who was a collector of German Luger Pistols. We both were members of the “Tampa Bay Gun Collectors” club. He had a office at the “Center Theater” which was the former “Roxy Theater”.

jimmyj on December 14, 2013 at 6:29 am

The first movie shown at the “State Theater” was “The Out Riders” starring Joel McCrea.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on July 28, 2013 at 8:42 am

They had a curved, suspended CinemaScope screen with no adjustable masking, just like the one at the Center. It was backlighted in blue.

BobbyS on July 27, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Remember seeing “THE HIGH & THE MIGHTY” starring John Wayne in the 1950’s with my family. Screen was large like the ones we were used to in Chicago. Went to Florida every year and always took in a movie at the State.

Nunzienick on October 15, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Around 1968 a friend and I drove over from Tampa to see “South Pacific” here. It was my first time at the State, and I recall being impressed by the wide CinemaScope screen with the colored lighting behind it. It did appear to be free-floating…very unusual but effective. “South Pacific” looked great and the onscreen image was well-focused overall. I remember the seats were very comfortable and the cushions were slightly thicker and softer than standard theatre seating. In 1969 I also saw “The Gay Deceivers.” These were the only two films I saw here. Wish I had driven over more often. The State was a very nice, comfortable theatre.

rivest266 on September 13, 2008 at 2:46 pm

This theatre opened on May 1st, 1950, and the ad can be found on this newspaper page at View link

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 30, 2005 at 10:49 am

Thanks for your corrections.

rocksalt on May 30, 2005 at 9:32 am

Actually only the Center theater in downtown St Petersburg had 70mm projectors. The State did have CinemaScope. The State also seated only around 500 people. My father and grandfather owned both at one time. In fact, they were the ones that convert the State into a theater

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on March 24, 2005 at 1:49 pm

The State was a conversion of a 1924 built former bank building. The architect of the conversion was Archie G. Parish and he created an 825 seat auditorium that had a free floating screen on the back wall that had concealed coloured lighting behind it. It was equipped for screening 70mm movies with stereo sound.

It had closed as a movie theatre by 1982.