State Theatre

34 E. Morgan Street,
Martinsville, IN 46151

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Additional Info

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: Blackstone Theatre

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The Blackstone Theatre was opened by 1914. The theatre appears on the 1916 Sanborn in a new auditorium located behind some older commercial buildings.

It seems that the eastern section dated to sometime before 1888. Sometime between 1892 and 1896, the western half, which was originally only one story, had been expanded to two stories and deepened. The rear half of both buildings was only one story. The 1908 map shows a cigar store and tailor on the west. This became the entrance, and apparently the entire ground floor served as a lobby. To the east, commercial space was retained in the front.

The rear of both buildings, which had been a bowling alley and billiard parlor, was extensively remodeled into a 1 ½ story auditorium. There was a generous stage, and a deep U-shaped balcony which extended all the way to the stage. The State Theatre was closed in 1946.

Later maps are unfortunately not available. At some point, the front of the building received a very dull remodel, and today serves as a law office. The auditorium is still visible to the rear.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

SethG
SethG on May 15, 2021 at 10:07 am

According to the NRHP listing for downtown, the western portion was originally the east end of the Union Block, a large structure that runs all the way to the corner. This theater may have been Blackstone’s, and then become the State.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2021 at 10:10 pm

34 and 36 E. Morgan Street have been combined into a single space for a law office using the address 36 E. Morgan. A photo on page 81 of Martinsville) by Joanne Raetz Stuttgen and Curtis Tomak (Google Books preview) shows the entrance to Blackstone’s Theatre at 34 E. Morgan, so so it appears that Blackstone’s and the State were the same theater, unless the original auditorium was demolished and replaced.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 1, 2021 at 4:09 pm

The Blackstone Theatre is listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory, one of three theaters listed in Martinsville, the others being the Metropolitan on Morgan Street and the Mystic at 44 N. Main Street.

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