State Theater

51 E. Congress Street,
Tucson, AZ 85701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Sidney Lovell

Previous Names: Tucson Opera House

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State Theater...Tucson Arizona

Originally opened November 11, 1897 as the Tucson Opera House. It was renamed State Theater on October 1, 1937. It was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary Harry Nace. The 1,000-seat State Theater on Congress Street operated until 1953, and has since been demolished. The site is now a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on March 10, 2009 at 10:23 am

Here is part of an article dated 9/22/53 from the Tucson Daily Citizen:

The State Theater, known long before the days of motion pictures as the Tucson Opera House, will play its last show tonight. A new commercial building will soon take its place on Congress Street. There will be no fanfare, no closing ceremony for the aged theater where any performance was once a major social event and seats were reserved on a permanent basis. The leading Shakespearean actors played at the old Opera House. There were traveling minstrel shows, too, and operas. Occasionally, a local group put on a play.

In 1929, the theater was taken over by the Paramount chain. The old landmark closes on a modern note for one of the features tonight is “When Worlds Collide”.

kencmcintyre on March 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm

This postcard of uncertain vintage shows the State on Congress Street:

TLSLOEWS on July 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Nice postcard I see the State and Fox down the street.Thanks ken mc.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 24, 2010 at 2:31 am

The Tucson Opera House was designed by architect Sidney Lovell, according to this book published in 1897, the year the Opera House was built.

Tucsonman on July 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

When it first became a theater, it was operated by Paramount, Nace or Paramount Nace (depending on whether, or not Paramount, & Nace had merged by that point). On New Year’s Eve 1949, Paramount Nace Theatres was spun off, due to Sherman-Antitrust regulations, and the place was renamed the United Paramount State Theatre.

rivest266 on October 20, 2016 at 2:36 pm

This opened as the Tucson Opera House on November 11th, 1897 and reopened as State on October 1st, 1937. Closed down in 1953. Grand opening ads for 1897 and 1937 are in the photo section.

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