Today, April 24, 2013, the State Theatre marks the 25th anniversary of its grand reopening as a performing arts center.
We reopened with a performance by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra which set the press and public raving about the hall’s visual and acoustical splendors. “Acoustics 10, seats 10, ambiance 10! …The art deco look of the theater is beautiful as well. The State Theatre is New Jersey’s Carnegie Hall.” –Asbury Park Press. Since 1988, more than 2.5 million people have attended State Theatre performances and events.
Completed in 1921 and designed by one of the most accomplished theater architects of the day, Thomas W. Lamb, the State Theatre was built as a grand movie palace in the heyday of silent film and vaudeville.
The theater rapidly established a reputation as the class act in town, known for its array of cinematic and live attractions. Stars appearing in person at the theater in its early days included Bob Hope, Barbara Stanwyck, Minnie Pearl, Gary Cooper, Bela Lugosi, Houdini, and Blackstone the Magician.
The theater continued to thrive well into the 60s when audiences began flocking to new suburban multiplex cinemas. By the 1970s, the theater was in ruins.