State Theater of Havre de Grace

325 St. John Street,
Havre de Grace, MD 21078

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Related Websites

State Theater of Havre de Grace (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Durkee, F.H., Enterprises

Functions: Live Theatre

Previous Names: New Willou Theatre, Lafayette Theatre

Nearby Theaters

State Theater of Havre de Grace

The New Willou Theatre was opened in 1908. In 1925 it suffered damage in a fire. It was taken over by F.H. Durkee Enterprises and was rebuilt, reopening as the State Theatre in 1927. F.H. Durkee Enterprises were still the operators in 1957 and it was closed in 1973. Renovations were carried out in 1982 and it reopened as the Lafayette Theatre, but this was a short-lived venture and it became a church, the Evangelistic Church of Deliverance until the late-2000’s.

It stood abandoned until 2020 when renovations began and it had reopened as a live theatre by September 2023.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JackCoursey on August 21, 2010 at 8:54 pm

A neat little find in the Harbor of Grace. 2010 photos of the former State Theatre: 1, 2

JackCoursey on October 3, 2010 at 6:59 pm

This theatre was called the New Willou when it first opened in 1918 and was renamed the State during the 1930s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2010 at 3:08 am

A book called “Maryland’s Motion Picture Theaters”, by Robert K. Headley, says that the first Willou Theatre opened in a former harness shop in 1908, and that the Bijou was also in operation by that year. The 1918 opening date Jack Coursey mentions for the New Willou must be when the theater was renamed. Headley says that the State was opened by Durkee Enterprises in September, 1927.

Headley also says that the City Opera House, on Union Avenue, had exhibited movies by 1908; became a full time movie theater in 1917; burned and was rebuilt in 1921, and ran movies as late as 1929, when it was leased by Durkee.

Possibly, Durkee leased the rival house in order to shut it down and thus eliminate their State Theatre’s competition.

robboehm on May 20, 2012 at 6:01 pm

So Joe, the State is the only theatre on CT in Havre de Grace. From your research you have found additional venues which could be added.

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