State Theatre

105 E. Stephenson Street,
Freeport, IL 61032

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Great States, Marchesi Brothers Theaters

Architects: Axel J. Claesson

Previous Names: New State Theatre

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Grand Opening of the State Theater, July 15th 1948. Photo courtesy of the

The New State Theatre opened on July 15, 1948 with Bing Crosby in “Variety Girl”. It was operated by the Marchesi Brothers, who had operated the original State Theatre from 1935 until 1948 at another address on Stephenson Street in a converted store.

The New State Theatre could seat almost twice the amount of the original’s 350. In the mid-1950’s the State Theatre (it had dropped the “New” by then) was taken over by the owner of the Lindo Theatre (then still known as the Freeport Theatre), who ran the State Theatre until it closed in 1964. The theatre was reopened five years later by the Chicago-based Great States circuit, which continued to operate it for many years.

The State Theatre closed in the late-1980’s, and was razed in November 1994.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Andy69 on September 30, 2006 at 10:17 pm

I recall this theater closing sometime in the Spring of 1986, with “To Live And Die In L.A.” being the last feature shown there. I’d seen “Jagged Edge” at this theater just a couple of months before that, for an admission price of $1.50. There may have been a half dozen other patrons in the theater for this showing, which made the interior of the theater appear positively cavernous. I’d seen “Day Of The Dead” at this theater in the late Summer of ‘85 and that feature played to a nearly empty house, as well, so it didn’t surprise me much when I found out the theater had shut down less than a year later.

DavidZornig on October 3, 2013 at 2:12 pm

I forgot to add the name of the person who posted the 3 B&W 1948 photos, that I re-posted in the Photos Section above. They were originally posted by Crystal Cheeseman Roling Porter to the “You know you’re from Freeport if…” Facebook page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 29, 2014 at 2:02 pm

An advertisement in the January 14, 1948, issue of the Freeport Journal-Standard said that the New State Theatre would open the following day.

paulnelson on November 29, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Handsome art deco proscenium and ceiling.

50sSNIPES on June 5, 2021 at 7:06 pm

It Actually Opened On July 15, 1948 With Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper And Bob Hope In “Variety Girl”.

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