State Wayne Theater

35310 W. Michigan Avenue,
Wayne, MI 48184

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Related Websites

Phoenix Theatres, Michigan (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Phoenix Theatres

Previously operated by: National Amusements, Wayne Amusements

Architects: Ted Rogvoy

Firms: Johnson Construction Co.

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: State Theater, Shafer-State Theater

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 734.326.4600

Nearby Theaters

State Wayne Theater

The State Theater was first operated by the Shafers in 1946 for Wayne Amusements. It was just a couple of yards away from the Wayne Theatre in which it was meant to replace.

The State Wayne Theater was originally a single screen theater, later carved in 4 screens, when National Amusements operated the theater.

When the city of Wayne took over the theater, they took out the 2 existing storefronts and filled them in for restrooms.

As part of the agreement when the city took over the State Wayne Theaters from National Amusements, they could not show first run movies, only sub-run. The theater also has yearly plays put on.

By 2012 it was operated by Phoenix Theatres and in 2015 was playing first run movies.

Contributed by Sean Doerr, CharlesVanBibbber

Recent comments (view all 30 comments)

CoryJacobson on March 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

We are pleased to announce that in September of 2014 the Classic State Wayne Theatre building was purchased by Phoenix Theatres from the City of Wayne. A complete upgrade of the seating was made and the theatre now features 100 percent fully reclining electric seats, plus carpeted auditoriums. Additionally, auditorium 3 & 4 were given larger pictures sizes for a new wall to wall digital image.

JackCoursey on March 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

Does anything remain of the original auditorium or was it gutted when it was divided into four venues?

CoryJacobson on March 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

The split that was done in the 1990’s by the City of Wayne was reasonably done. The ceiling is untouched and the split could be easily removed if it was economically reasonable to do so.

CoryJacobson on November 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm

State Wayne Marquee Goes Green

CoryJacobson on November 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm

State Wayne Celebrates “Rockytober”

CMHurley on March 20, 2016 at 8:15 am

This is my home town theater. Beautiful! I’m so happy to see it’s still going strong. For years it languished, closed for awhile, split into two screens, then closed, then open, then closed, then four plexed showing second and third run films, then closed, then open showing old classic movies, then gradually morphing back into second and third run films, then Phoenix Theaters took over and now first run films, digital projection and sound, leather reclining seats, fresh popped popcorn (no bags trucked in!), and very reasonable prices. Saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens there in January, a fantastic experience. If anyone truly loves classic old movie houses, this is the place to go. I’ll upload some photos I just recently took.

CMHurley on March 20, 2016 at 8:27 am

Oh, and the black light fluorescent dragons are still on the walls for those that know the theater.

Joe Cork
Joe Cork on November 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

With the Classic State-Wayne turning 70 at the end of this year we wanted to do something special. We put together a website to celebrate the rich history and to honor Mr. Movie Man himself, Walter Shafer.

CoryJacobson on November 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Please check out the street view feature. We have included the interior of the theatre as well as the exterior to allow the viewer to move around the theatre with the click of a mouse.

graymatters on April 18, 2021 at 11:24 am

My grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson’s Johnson Construction Company built the beautiful State Wayne Theatre in 1946. Though extensively remodeled since, it’s one of a handful of Johnson-built theaters that is still open today, as a luxury cinema complex with three movie screens and one live performance stage.

Al took a single exterior slide in June 1948, which I’ve uploaded to this website. The image shows the large curved entrance to the theater with three pairs of double doors in natural color. A large curved marquee wraps around a corner of the building and features a vertical neon “State” sign on top.

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