State Theatre

49 Market Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

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Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

davidcoppock on July 25, 2022 at 2:41 am

AnthonyMe, State Theatre is listed on Cinema Treasure as State Newsreel Theatrette.

rivest266 on July 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

June 7th, 1929 grand opening ad in photo section.

filmart_dd on December 19, 2015 at 5:13 am

While yes, generally we now hear of the contribution by architect White, it is clear from the 1929 publicity lodged above by Joe Vogel that the American contribution was acknowledged from the start.

filmart_dd on December 19, 2015 at 5:10 am

Yes, you are taken back to 1929 in the place, and yes, by multiplex standards the screen and stage are less massive. More seriously, the rake of projection is so steep that viewers out of the sweet range do get distortions. If you want multiplex, go to multiplex. If you want history, go to the State. With over 2000 seats, four shows a day, this cinema used to get ten-week runs for major releases. Inside, you feel what it was like then, the Magic of the Movies. Pick up the video history from the confectionery bar.

ianpage on July 8, 2013 at 10:02 am

For a very well-executed virtual 3D tour, follow this link to the State’s official site…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Three pages about the State Theatre, with photos, appeared in an article about new Australian theaters in the October 5, 1929, issue of Motion Picture News.

First page

Second page

Third page.

Rogere on January 5, 2010 at 9:49 pm

If you are sitting upstars and not at the very front this is a terrible place to watch anything the stage is too small.

Rogere on January 1, 2010 at 6:33 pm

According to the 1980s press,it cost a Million Dollars to clean the cinema to it’s former glory and they used Amway products I would loved to have been the distributor.

AnthonyMe on April 27, 2009 at 2:43 am

I have attended many an event and screening at the State. I attended a couple of functions there back in the mid-80s, for what I can’t remember, but various fully catered events with waiters etc. rushing around with trays of food and drink. The building was open for the guests to explore on their lonesome or as part of a group with guide. I did both for a couple of hours. It was fascinating. My only complaint with the State is that, despite the size of the auditorium, the screen is rather small. I always prefer to sit in the cheap seats and get as close to the image as possible to compensate! Haha!

And does anyone remember the State 2, the tiny downstairs theaterette?

MPol on December 31, 2008 at 1:24 pm

Wpw!! This is the most fabulous-looking theatre to date..both inside AND out.

HowardBHaas on January 9, 2008 at 8:14 am

set of interior photos:
View link

rwoodley on May 28, 2007 at 5:26 pm

Message to Rebecca Pike,
The State Library of NSW, Macquarie St, Sydney, holds 54 of the drawings done to remodel the Hippodrome into the Capitol, 1926-1928.
Also held are images of the State Theatre, Melbourne and the Ambassadors Theatre, Perth, (based on the Capitol and State in Melbourne) but considered better.

AdoraKiaOra on May 6, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Ive seen a number of different shows here over the years and it realy is a spectacular theatre. You get a true sense of occasion sitting in that auditorium. Its one of the rare examples of a mezzanine level sitting deep under the main balcony level. The Oriental in Chicago has a simular set up but is just 2 or 3 rows deep and private boxes where as the States is 8 rows and is a full size cirlce level- has to be seen in the flesgh to take it in. Click on the web site above and take the different virtual tours. I love this great theatre.

ERD on June 12, 2006 at 8:08 am

A very beautiful theatre! The very successful Proctors theatre in Schenectady,New York (USA),has recently enlarged its stage housing to accommodate the large sets for Broadway road shows. Wishing the State theatre a successful future.

RKLT on April 30, 2006 at 8:06 pm

The cinema chain has recently bought the building located at the rear of The State and rumours are that they intend to extend the stage and staging facilities to make this beautiful building more workable for live theatre – its current stage is triangular narrowing severely to a point upstage centre, and the fly lines get smaller as you move upstage. Also the backstage facilities and dressing rooms are small & cramped.
Despite this some major musicals have played in the venue as Sydney has few major venues surviving the office building boom in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 22, 2006 at 1:46 pm

Here is a photo of the main street entrance, the Gothic style entrance hall is just within:
View link

kencmcintyre on January 14, 2006 at 1:00 pm

That is an amazing photo. It puts the local megaplexes to shame.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on January 14, 2006 at 12:52 pm

A photograph of the magnificent Gothic entrance hall and box office area of the State Theatre:
View link

ERD on November 2, 2005 at 10:49 am

While the theatre’s design has been influenced by American theatres,
it still has its own distinct atmosphere.

PAULB on August 2, 2005 at 3:26 pm

Dear Brucec….by the Sydney public, yes, interstate visitors are just staggered when they discover it. The industry has always considered it the flagship of 20s palaces, although in this country we have (had) many equally as well appointed : Sydney Capitol, State and Regent Melbourne, and the lost lamented Prince Edward Sydney, Plaza Sydney, Regent Sydney and most incredibly the suburban Summer Hill Grosvenor which at 2000 seats in mock Spanish Gothic was actually a combination of the Sydney State and The Sydney Capitol ( and was bulldozed in 1970). The State here still is today, often now as an orchestra or acoustic concert venue as well as television awards shows etc. In the late 80s someone staged a musical about RASPUTIN and the palace of the Czars and the show literally started at the front doors and continued its stage design right to the back wall of the set. Over the stage of the State still is a massive glass crown with red swags sweeping from its rim down and out to the proscenium walls. In the 30s it was the home of RKO musicals and Columbia comedies, The 40s was Rita Hayworth films and technicolour musicals, the 50s much the same and in the 60s saw seasons of whatever big glossy films from Universal (PILLOW TALK ran 12 weeks) along with BYE BYE BIRDIE, ARABESQUE and most astonishing of all the AlliedArtist Elvis comedy TICKLE ME which did a solid 8 weeks! The Boxoffice blockbuster of the 60s was the Aussie comedy THEY’RE A WEIRD MOB at 13 weeks. In the70s it struggled through many British Carry Ons and alot of horror (COUNT YORGA ) but always remained intact and twinkling. In the late 70s it was getting a bit musty and there was even talk of “what to do”. For the BETTE MIDLER season in 1980 she came for 3 concerts and played 14 instead to adoring fans who kept snapping up tickets as fast as the boxoffice remained open. Midler often remarked at what an astonishing theatre it was and this unprecedented success assured the owners GREATER UNION THEATRES that the State now has a better life as a cabaret/concert venue, a use it is more famous for today than ever. I have seen many concerts there and often major film premieres play to an invited full house and open the season elsewhere. CRY FREEEDOM with Consuar guests or VANILLA SKY etc with Cruise attending is one example. The STATE has a website. Have a look around that. The Sate is an intact today as it was in 1929, a fact and feature guarded lovingly by owners and public alike. Write to them at 49 Market St Sydney and ask for their postcards which sometimes are available.

bruceanthony on August 2, 2005 at 1:57 pm

Paul you are very lucky to have such a beautiful theatre. Was the State considered the crown jewel of film palaces in Sydney as well as Australia?brucec

PAULB on April 29, 2005 at 4:36 am

Dear Rex, yes occasionally, I personally have seen, with orchestral accompaniment PANDORA’S BOX, and the 1913 CABIRIA…often these events are within or just after the Sydney Film Festival which has been there each June for 30 years. Many premiere events for new major films are at the State then open in 200 multiplexes the following week. It is now an events house and absolutley treasured by everyone who sets fot within.

mrt1924 on April 28, 2005 at 6:59 pm

I was wondering are there any Symphony concerts ever held there? for example “Live cinema” (old silent film accompanied by a symphony orchestra)