State Theatre

201 Linden Avenue,
South San Francisco, CA 94080

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Golden State Theater & Realty Corp.

Architects: James Reid, Merritt Reid

Firms: Reid Brothers

Functions: Ballroom, Office Space

Styles: Atmospheric, Spanish Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

State SSF, Baden

The State Theatre was a single screen theatre that opened on October 2, 1931 with Edward G. Robinson in “Smart Money” & Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy in “Be Big”. It was operated by the Bay Shore Theatre Corporation, headed by A.J. Eschelbach. It closed on March 13, 1973 and was converted into a ballroom and offices around 1975.

Contributed by Victor

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

GaryParks on April 27, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The architects of the State were the Reid Bros. The auditorium was atmospheric in style. The overall theme of the building was and is Spanish. Some of the cast ornament used can also be seen on and in other Reid Bros. theatres such as the State (Golden State) in Monterey.
The entrance facade received a Moderne style remodel later on, with vertical fluting in stucco supporting a vertical sign. New display cases and a terrazzo sidewalk were also installed.
When the conversion to offices, retail, and ballroom occurred, the vertical sign, marquee, and boxoffice were removed, but otherwise the exterior was left alone, and still looks very much like a theatre. The lobby and mezzanine are likewise mostly intact. The auditorium was divided horozontally, with the upper half preserving the atmospheric look. The upper half of the proscenium, false facades, and the projection ports can still be seen.

Seth on July 1, 2004 at 6:39 pm

Was the Grand Palace Chinese restaurant on Grand Ave ever a theater? I had lunch there, and we all tried to decide what it had been.

atmos on March 27, 2006 at 7:57 pm

State Theatre opened in 1931 and appears to have closed in 1971.Some excellent photos can be found at the following website

kencmcintyre on November 10, 2007 at 6:20 pm

Those are good photos. I think they mean loge instead of lodge, however. Part of the building may be a furniture store now, but that’s unconfirmed.

GaryParks on April 11, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Recently, the moderne fluted feature added to the facade to support the later vertical sign was removed, and the original facade ornament exposed and nicely painted. Now, aside from the absence of a marquee, the exterior of the State looks almost exactly as it would have looked when first built.

celaniasdawn on March 31, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Went to go see Tora Tora Tora at the El Camino, but it was closed due to flooding and the guy there said it was also playing at the State. We got directions and went there. I’m surprised that when they built this theater it wasn’t on the main street (I think it was Grand Ave but I don’t remember) the theater was around the corner if it wasn’t for the marquee we wouldn’t have found it. What a beautiful theater! It had a splendid lobby, the inside was very ornate. A few years later we were passing though the area and went by the State, and it was showing movies in Spanish. It must have been a popular movie because there was a line going down the street.

atmos on March 14, 2013 at 8:16 am

This theatre opened 2 Oct 1931 and closed 13 Mar 1973.

robertcampbell on October 14, 2019 at 1:38 pm

The State has a great dining and banquet hall called “The State Room” which took the balcony and extended it, restoring the top of the roof line. It looks amazing.

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