State Theatre

913 Washington Avenue,
Bay City, MI 48708

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rivest266 on February 20, 2024 at 9:33 am

Reopened October 18th as State. Anothre ad posted.

rivest266 on February 20, 2024 at 5:54 am

Reopened as Bay on October 22nd, 1930 by Butterfield theatres. Grand opening ad posted. More to come for this theatre.

rivest266 on February 19, 2024 at 4:38 pm

reopened as Orpheum on August 29th, 1920. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on February 19, 2024 at 2:20 pm

Opened September 7th, 1908. Ad posted.

rivest266 on February 19, 2024 at 1:45 pm

John Kominsky was killed instantly while walking a plank at the site on June 20th, 1908. Article posted. More to come for this theatre and Bay City.

Paul Fortini
Paul Fortini on May 16, 2023 at 4:45 am

A photo of the marquee can be found here

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 18, 2022 at 10:11 pm

The June 24, 1916 issue of Moving Picture World said that W. S. Butterfield had recently been in Bay City making arrangements for the remodeling and redecoration of the Bijou Theatre. Plans included a new ventilation and cooling system and two new Simplex projection machines.

The Bijou was originally built for owner-operator J. D. Pilmore, with a notice that construction contracts had been let appearing in the July, 1908 issue of The Bricklayer and Mason. Pilmore had operated an earlier Bay City house also called the Bijou, at least as early as 1905. The earlier Bijou was listed in the 1907 edition of Polk’s Michigan Gazetteer as being at the northwest corner of Center and Madison.

DavidZornig on March 11, 2019 at 6:37 pm

1908 post card as Bijou Theatre added courtesy Walter Jung. It shows how drastic the exterior remodeling was compared to the photos of it as State Theatre.

LouRugani on September 11, 2012 at 5:11 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.

Karen Colizzi Noonan
Karen Colizzi Noonan on March 26, 2011 at 7:50 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

TLSLOEWS on December 27, 2009 at 11:55 am

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

zabriskie on February 2, 2009 at 7:17 pm

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

kencmcintyre on January 6, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Here are some photos of the marquee coming down from the Bay City Times in August 2008:

Shemphoward on September 24, 2008 at 9:44 am

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.

johntru on September 24, 2008 at 12:25 am

More State Theater photos here:

View link

johntru on September 23, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Well, I’d remove the post but there doesn’t seem to be a way to do it. I’ll just use links from now on.

johntru on September 23, 2008 at 7:28 pm

August 15, 2008 — The State Theater Marquee in Bay City, Michigan was torn down to make way for a new digital Marquee. (Video by Julie McCallum of

View link

johntru on September 23, 2008 at 7:28 pm

Unveiling of the New Marquee at the State Theater in Bay City, MI on 9/11/2008

johntru on September 17, 2008 at 4:52 pm

This was the old marquee as it looked in February 2007.

Twistr54 on September 16, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Beautiful ! Very nice.

Twistr54 on September 16, 2008 at 11:34 am

Anyone take any photos of the new marquee??? please post. thanks

MPol on September 16, 2008 at 8:30 am

Cool stuff! Thanks for posting and sharing it. Wish I could’ve seen what the inside of the theatre looked like, but I wasn’t able to link onto that particular link. It looks like a gorgeous theatre, though.