State Theater

1412 Farnam Street,
Omaha, NE 68102

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc., World Theatre Circuit

Architects: Harry Lawrie

Firms: Mendelssohn, Fisher & Lawrie

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Sun Theater

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News About This Theater

State Theater

The Sun Theater opened on Thanksgiving Day (November 30), 1916 with Clara Kimball Young in “In the Dark Silence”. It was operated by the Goldberg Brothers. It was equipped with a Kimball 2 manual organ which was opened by organist Prof. Geo. Koehl of New York. By 1926 it was operated by World Theatre Circuit.

The lights in the 1,081-seat theater were shaped like sunbursts. The color scheme for the lobby and auditorium was red and ivory. The seating was so steep that one could climb from the balcony into the top row of the main floor.

On September 14, 1929 the name of the Sun Theater was changed to the State Theater and it was closed by 1932. It had reopened by 1933 when it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. By 1936 it was closed again. It remained closed into 1941. It had reopened by 1943 and continued mainly showing Walt Disney films, until 1969.

The State Theater was demolished in 1976.

Contributed by Ivan Kent Steinke

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

beardbear31 on September 24, 2006 at 4:56 pm

The Sun Theater was part of a “planetary” theme at the time in naming theaters in Omaha. There was the Sun Theater, the Moon Theater, and the World Theater (later renamed the Omaha Theater). Sorry that I haven’t found out much information about the Moon, perhaps it was renamed also.

mormonpreacher on November 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm

Can someone tell me exactly where on Farnam the State sat? Was it on the north side of the street or the south side? Was it in the same block as the old WOW building, or was it further east?

cmartens54 on April 17, 2011 at 1:20 pm

The State Theater was across from the Paxton Hotel, where the downtown library is now located, on the North side of Farnam between 14th and 15th Streets.

rivest266 on December 4, 2011 at 9:43 am

I have uploaded the grand opening ad as Sun from November 30th, 1916 and as State from September 14th, 1929 as well as a picture of the Sun.

Ogthedog on September 22, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Beardbear31, guess a reply five years later is better than never. The Moon Theater was eventually renamed the Town Theater, which in turn was remodeled and renamed the Cooper. That beautiful streetfront was covered with a bland, “modern” facade with the coming of the Cooper, if I remember correctly.

DavidZornig on June 21, 2020 at 8:26 am

1919 photo as Sun Theater added credit Durham Museum photo archives.

dallasmovietheaters on December 2, 2022 at 9:31 am

The State Theatre closed September 4, 1969 with “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

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