State Theater

1307 J Street,
Modesto, CA 95354

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Related Websites

The State Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Redwood Theatres Inc.

Architects: Simeon Charles Lee

Functions: Community Arts Center, Concerts, Movies (Classic), Movies (Film Festivals)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Cine Mexico

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 209.527.4697

Nearby Theaters

State Theatre 1937

The Art Deco style State Theater was opened on December 25, 1934 with Dick Powell in “Flirtation Walk”. It was designed by architect S. Charles Lee.

After decades of showing movies, the State Theater was converted into a community arts center and concert hall. It was remodeled during the 1990’s and restorations and renovations continued until they were completed in February 2006. On December 27, 2019 a 25-seat auditorium was added.

The State Theater is Landmark Listed.

Contributed by Michael Van Scyoc

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 18, 2006 at 2:43 pm

This is a 1936 ad from the Modesto Bee. Go to the movies or take the chicken – tough choice:


A Thanksgiving Turkey For You
A 10 Lb. turkey free with every complete engine overhaul.
A 5-lb dressed chicken free with every purchase amounting to over $25.00
2 State Theater tickets with every purchase over $10.00.
1 State Theater ticket with every purchase over $5.00.

The treat’s on usâ€"Come early. Sweeley’s Garage 1211 J Street
Phone 716

Java on November 28, 2006 at 1:50 pm

Hmm, thats a pretty interesting ad ken mc.

trooperboots on June 3, 2008 at 11:44 pm

The State Theater will be this years venue for the 2008 California International Animation Film Festival. “CalAniFest 2008”, as it is called, will be held on July 19, 2008.

The State Theater has been newly renovated and is a genuine piece of historic old Modesto with a large screen, superb sound and digital projection. The film only screens Region 1 or Region 0 NTSC disks.

The official website for the festival is at

trooperboots on June 3, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Here is a shot of the newly renovatted theater today….

Patsy on May 4, 2009 at 7:21 pm

There will be a concert at this theatre on May 30th at 3:30 in memory of the Borden Twins, Marilyn and Roz Borden who played Teensy and Weensy in the I Love Lucy episode with Tennessee Ernie Ford entitled Tennessee Bound. I knew Marilyn and wish I were closer to Modesto to attend this event for 2 very talented entertainers. “The world has the Borden Twins, but Modesto had Marilyn”. Come and celebrate her amazing life!

Below is the official invitation from Marilyn and Roz' sister, Barbara:

Dear Friends—-
Join us in remembering and celebrating the lives of Marilyn Borden and The Borden Twins on what would have been their 77th birthday weekend. For those who would like to continue celebrating, there will be a short musical procession to The Barking Dog Café, 940 11th Street for An Evening of Music provided by the John Wyatt Trio and Ernie Bucio’s Little Big Band including songs that Marilyn and The Borden Twins loved to sing.

Featured vocalists will be: Shirley Hausner and Elsie Merenda (2 of the Senior Divas), Barbara Borden, Michele Richardson and Jon Corbin. Food and drinks will be available for purchase.

I look forward to being with you as we share tears and laughter—-mostly the latter—-food and friends and always music, music, music.


Patsy on May 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

After reading the posts on this link I see there are 2 members named “Java” and “Christian”. If you are in the Modesto area, I hope you can attend the May 30th event. I know “Lost Memory” is not in the Modesto area, but not sure about “ken mc”.

Mikeyisirish on December 19, 2012 at 7:59 pm

A few December 2012 photos can be seen here and here.

terrywade on June 12, 2016 at 7:47 pm

Great neon marquee. They just had a big night with the movie Purple Rain with a live show also on stage.

Patsy on June 12, 2016 at 8:31 pm

terrywade: Great to read.

Fotomac on January 21, 2021 at 11:43 pm

If George Lucas happens by this site, I have a question: can he remember every film he saw at the State?

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