148 W. Main Street,
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Architects: Homer Harper
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Art Moderne-style State Theatre, located on Main Street near Colfax Avenue opened May 14, 1942 with Gene Tierney in “Sundown”. It was operated by the Butterfield chain until the 1960’s. In February 1967 it was taken over by Fox Eastern Theatres Corp.
During the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was one of four theatres open in Benton Harbor, along with the Liberty Theatre, City Theatre, and Lake Theatre, all of which have their own pages on Cinema Treasures.
By 2022, only the State Theatre remains standing. It is owned by the Benton Harbor Downtown Development Authority (BHDDA). The previous owner gave the theatre to the BHDDA to be restored and reopened for the benefit of the community. It is in the initial assessment phase of their redevelopment. They anticipate the facade will be restored with the lobby, auditorium, and stage to be rehabilitated to allow for use for live performances and film as it was when it first opened in 1942. The community is requested to support the restoration and reopening to come.
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