State Theatre

406 S. Burdick Street,
Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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Showing 1 - 25 of 40 comments

DavidZornig on May 4, 2020 at 1:29 pm

Full history link below.

JAlex on November 28, 2015 at 11:09 am

Colonel Butterfield’s first name was Walter, not William which somehow has taken on a life of its own.

kencmcintyre on January 18, 2008 at 2:43 pm

Frank Caliendo is the guy that does the John Madden impressions on the football pregame show.

sarahbauman on January 18, 2008 at 2:14 pm

Haha – of course you get a picture of our marquee the day the wind knocked the letter N off… “REO TICKETS ON SALE OW” It wasn’t even like that for very long. Sneaky, sneaky. You probably noticed the bit of white paneling behind the letters that’s caved in a bit. That’s getting fixed, thankfully.

e50e on October 16, 2007 at 12:08 pm

I remember going to see the Butthole Surfers there in the 90s and people destroyed one of the statues down towards the stage. I look back at that and become really angry at the needless destruction of one of Kalamazoo’s most historic buildings under such stupid circumstances.

Patsy on July 20, 2007 at 12:15 pm

“When the State Theatre opened on the corner of S. Burdick and Lovell Streets in July 1927, it brought the "atmospheric” movie palace experience to Kalamazoo.“ All towns should be so lucky to have an "atmospheric” movie palace experience brought to their hometown!

TimothyRuf on May 25, 2007 at 8:09 pm

Sarahbauman… sorry to move us off topic for a post… would you be so kind as to contact me regarding your theater. I’m working on an article about Ebersons Atmospheric designs and would enjoy being able to ask a few questions. Thank you.


sarahbauman on January 14, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Oh, yeah… PS…

The building the theatre is in is pretty huge, so there are other companies or offices that use office spaces upstairs. So companies like Case Management aren’t actually part of the State Theatre, they’re just located above it. The State Theatre’s just the State Theatre!

sarahbauman on January 14, 2007 at 9:20 pm

Hey. Since some of you seem pretty interested… Actually, a lot of the cool stuff they moved/took down when they’ve “cleaned up” or changed things in the theatre is still there. It’s either been put back up, or put somewhere else safe where it can still be seen, but not harmed. We have some in the box office in the entryway and in the office next door to the main entrance. And the fountain, cool spanish light fixtures are still working & there, and even the moving clouds & stars ceiling still works. It’s funny â€" the switches & everything you have to use to turn on the lights & all of that are so old. I feel like I’ve warped back in time every time I use them. Granted, there are some things that won’t be coming back… The doors got changed in the 60’s to an all-glass front & there used to be a big gorgeous fountain in the entry way, and where the bars are now used to be posh little seating areas with chairs/couches and terra cotta (sp?) pottery with big lush plants all around & whatnot. Sometimes I wish I were absolutely loaded so I could make that place look as lavish as it once did. Would be so cool.

The original marquee actually was so massive and heavy that the way it was put up on the corner of the building corroded things over the years and it eventually went crashing down, so the marquee you all see now was put there in its replacement. Some things have fallen down over the years, yes, such as little statues & whatnot. There are some things that fell or broke over time, but we’ve still got a lot of it. Tons of old posters, too, but we wish we could find some from its early days. This year’s the 80th anniversary!

There are pictures up on the website ( If you guys were that interested, I’ve got a ton of pictures of old cool stuff we found cleaning out random little hidden storage rooms under the seating areas & whatnot. I could get them up somehow.

For those of you that are myspacers, check out

jackshaw on November 30, 2006 at 6:23 pm

When my wife and I were first married, we lived in Kalamazoo for a while. I saw two movies at the State. We went one night and seen what has become one of my favorite movies, Jeremiah Johnson with Robert Redford. The next time we went to the State, My wife brought it to my attention that there was another Robert Redford movie playing there and ask if I would like to go. I asked what the movie was about and she said “ahhh, it’s just like that Jeremiah Johnson movie.” It was “The Way We Were!” I was tricked into seeing that one!

Twistr54 on October 2, 2006 at 1:41 pm

There are only upper balcony pics inside the theatre, there was a function going on in the auditorium so I was only in the balcony.

Patsy on October 2, 2006 at 1:20 pm

Twistr54: I just viewed the many photos and didn’t see any of the atmospheric auditorium. Perhaps I missed them.

Patsy on October 2, 2006 at 1:18 pm

Twistr54: Thanks for the wonderful site showcasing the State in Kalamazoo! If only the original vertical marquee were still in use!

Twistr54 on October 2, 2006 at 1:15 pm

I have finally been able to get all my State photos uploaded to a Flickr web site, this link should take you to them.
View link

Patsy on September 14, 2006 at 6:22 pm

The original marquee and vertical STATE sign were most beautiful and better than the current look.

Patsy on October 24, 2005 at 1:14 pm

BoxOffice70MM: Thanks for the additional information.

BoxOffice70MM on October 24, 2005 at 6:40 am

Butterfield had sold the theatre and the new owners ‘cleaned it up’ and started putting concerts in. They removed alot of the large vases and statues from inside, never to be seen again.(I was told most likely they were just thrown in the trash dumpster in the back and no one even gave it a thought.)They also destroyed the orchestra rail and pit, filled it in , the organ is still there , but not sure of the condition , I know the person who rebuilt it a few years ago, he is not sure of the current condition of it .(I have his name and email if you have questions about the State Barton organ)
When the theatre was reseated, I do not know when, they only did

the main floor, all the seats in the balcony were not changed, They definalty have wear, they are possibly the seats from the first reseat from the wooden seats to cushion seats, I have a picture of the balcony and yo can see the seats, the old velvet worn spots, rips tears, I had a seat for a concert in the balcony, and there was no seat, just the shell of it, I had to sit on the step. When this web site gets organized and allows downloads, Ill post my interior pictures of the State.

Patsy on October 23, 2005 at 2:30 pm

Why were these lovely embellishments removed?

BoxOffice70MM on October 23, 2005 at 2:21 pm

In approx 1980, the fascade had some things removed, the scalloping off the roof etc., but that is the only change. Most of the emblishments were removed then.

BoxOffice70MM on October 23, 2005 at 2:19 pm

The vertical marquee was replaced approx. 1964.
The theatre still has concerts going on, I have a ticket to Jim Brickman in Nov. I personally dont know anything about Case Mgt,. but the theatre has shows scheduled up thru next spring. And there is supposed to be a film in Dec.,(a special thing like Rocky Horror or such )
If I see anything in the paper Ill post it.
Support The State !!!!

Patsy on October 23, 2005 at 12:44 pm

The entire front facade seems to have been changed over the years and I wonder what happened to the Big STATE vertical sign?

Patsy on October 23, 2005 at 12:41 pm

Also the top design that is now missing as this was an Eberson/atmospheric cinema in a rather small Michigan town.

Patsy on October 23, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Thanks for the Case link, but it always disappoints me when I see the marquee changed over the years from the original one.

Patsy on June 8, 2005 at 1:19 pm

Thanks….start scanning!