The State Theatre is a community-owned non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Centre County region. We’re a mainstay of the State College community and a proud hub of local culture, featuring artists both homegrown and nationally renowned.
There’s something for everyone at The State Theatre, from high drama to children’s musicals, from rock ’n’ roll to live broadcasts of the Met. There’s rarely a day without a show to be seen, a concert to be heard, or a laugh to be had.
The State Theatre is the creative soul of the Centre region arts scene.
The State Theatre is a non-profit, performing arts center whose mission is to entertain, enrich, educate, and inspire.
As a community-owned performing arts center, we strive for a multi-dimensional impact.
We will enrich the community’s cultural opportunities with diverse local and regional performances, national touring acts, international headliners and independent, classic and foreign films. We will generate a tradition of arts entertainment, understanding and enjoyment for succeeding generations in the Centre region and beyond.
We will foster art education and participation for a multitude of the Centre region’s unique populations, whether university students, retirees, children or families. We will nurture emerging and established artists and their visions.
We will build cooperation between organizations, artists, producers and educators. We will help to revitalize and grow a thriving downtown scene, one that benefits our neighbors and is enjoyed by all members of our community. We will work together with local organizations, non-profits and charitable causes to fundraise, foster partnerships, and engage the public
On October 15th, 1938, Warner Brothers opened The State Theatre as a test market for new films. The state-of-the-art cinema was built in record-time — just four months — for a whopping $70,000. It offered patrons four different flicks each week. General admission was 30 cents for matinees, 35 cents after 5pm, and children’s tickets cost just 15 pennies.
Unfortunately, as the years progressed, the theatre lost its glamour. Gone was the lush theatre with its silk wall fabrics and sweeping balcony, and gone was its place in the community. Doors closed in 2001, indicating the end of an era, and very possibly, the end of The State.
Thankfully, by 1999, some dedicated community members had already envisioned a new life for the dilapidated theatre: an arts performance center, owned and operated by the community. Local groups would have a home stage, and citizens would be able to enjoy diverse music and theatre in an intimate setting. The State Theatre had the potential to revitalize the downtown, expose a range of people to artists both national and international, and bring additional income into the community.
An enthusiastic local contingent threw their weight behind the revival, hosting events, selling pavers and touting the case of The State. Owners Sidney and Helen Friedman, themselves patrons of The State since 1939, generously gave both the theatre and a monetary gift to the community and renovations began. The reconstruction unearthed many lovely architectural elements that were subsequently preserved. The lush glory of The State’s former life was renewed, and State College regained its historic gem.
The State Theatre is committed to involving local non-profits in programming, sponsorships, fund raising, visibility, and support. The non-profit organizations below have directly benefited in some way as a result of our commitment.
If you would like to find out how to get involved with The State Theatre, or are interested in how The State Theatre can benefit your non-profit organization, please contact the box office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
American Cancer Society
Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund
Central PA 4th Fest
Central PA Festival of The Arts
Downtown Improvement Distrct
Jana Marie Foundation
Leadership Centre County
Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra
Pennsylvania Wounded Warriors
Sierra Club Moshannon Group
St Joes Catholic Academy
Hearts 4 Homeless
State College Choral Society
State College Community Theatre
Strawberry Fields Inc.
The Next Stage Inc.
Youth Service Bureau
The State Theatre is the place to be. See what’s playing in music, theatre, film, children’s, dance, and opera.
Help us continue to be the home of inspiring performances. Become a member, name a chair, sponsor a show. There are tons of ways to give.