State Theatre

350 N. State Street,
Ukiah, CA 95482

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 9, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Here is a photo of the auditorium of the Victory Theatre, with a note on it indicating that it was taken on the opening night, February 6, 1914.

I’m wondering if this theater might have actually been built a few years earlier and operated for a while as the Ukiah Opera House. A house of that name is listed in the 1912 Cahn guide, with 400 seats on the main floor and 250 in the balcony. The photo of the Victory shows that it had just about 400 seats on the main floor. The balcony is a bit harder to count, as the seats are smaller and the rows of different lengths, but it does appear to seat about 250.

There was an earlier opera house in Ukiah, but it was probably not the one listed in the Cahn guide, as it was a single-floor building, and appears much too small to have held 650 seats. Here’s a photo of it.

The September 2, 1908, issue of The American Architect and Building News has an item saying that San Francisco architects Banks & Copeland were preparing plans for a brick and concrete theater to be built at Ukiah. This could have been the Opera House.

I’ve been unable to find any mention of any other theater in Ukiah before the Victory opened, and 1912 is the last mention of the Ukiah Opera House I’ve found. It seems possible that the Opera House was equipped for movies and renamed the Victory in 1914, and that its first few years of operation as a live theater have since been forgotten.

TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Cool vintage photo in the header of this page. 900 seats pretty big.

frenchjr25 on November 15, 2003 at 10:46 am

Only a small portion of the orignal building survives. It is a brick wall covered in metal siding. It can be seen in the rear parking lot of the building to the south. Much of the brick from the demolition was reused in the current structure. The brick can been seen inside on some of the walls. The brick was also used for the exterior walkways.