State Theatre -- Pasadena


770 E. Colorado Blvd.     | map | 

Pasadena, CA  91101


Opened: 1918 as the Florence Theatre. In 1928 it was acquired by Turner, Dahnken & Langley. That company was later to become a big part of the West Coast Theatres chain.

The theatre was still running as the Florence as late as 1935. It's unknown when it became the State.

Architect:  Oliver Perry Dennis

Seating: 797

The State was operated for decades by Fox West Coast and its successor companies. The theatre later became part of the Pussycat chain but recovered from that fate.

After a spell as a Chinese language cinema, it became an independent revival house. The State was known for attracting cinephiles with rare and quirky double bills.  Jim Darrell advises that the last film to play was "The Insider" with Russell Crowe and Al Pacino.

Status: Closed for good in 2000. Now a retail and office complex with the the theatre space completely gutted.

More Information: See the Cinema Treasures page on the State for lots of discussion about its history by Ken McIntyre, Joe Vogel and other contributors. 

Cinema Tour has three exterior views from the Scott Neff collection. 

The State Theatre is discussed in Matt Hormann's Hometown Pasadena article "Ghost Theatres of Colorado (Part 2 of 2)."




A view of the State Theatre
during its revival house days.

photo: Gary Graver

[ click on the image to enlarge ]

Gary Graver (1938-2006) was a filmmaker and cinematographer.
 Over several decades he took many photos of theatres in
Los Angeles and Portland, OR.  More can be seen on
You Tube: "Second Run - part 1" and "Second Run - part 2."
Thanks to Sean Graver for use of the photo.


    Huntington Digital Library   

hdl.huntington.org/cdm


A 1928 view of the State Theatre, then
called the Florence, by Harold A. Parker.
full size view

The Florence is running "The Air Circus" with Sue Carol.
The banner below the marquee reads "OUR SCREEN TALKS
AND SINGS Movietone Talking Newsreel Weekly."

On the Huntington Library page you can
use the slider to get a larger image -- then you
can pan around to explore details.



    Corey Miller on Flickr   

www.flickr.com/photos/toomuchfire


A view of the State Theatre marquee after closing
in 2000. Corey Miller's photo appears in his
 "Theatre Signs" set. 
full size view

The photo above also appears as part of a 2012
story on LAist -- "Ghosts of Movie Houses Past."


Also in the "Keepers of Pasadena" set on Flickr:
2007 Eric Lynxwiler photo  |



    Charmaine Zoe on Flickr   

www.flickr.com/photos/charmainezoe


A 1926 look at the Florence running "The Still
Alarm" with Helene Chadwick. Note the display of
the horse-drawn fire engine above the marquee.
full size view | on FB/LATheatres

Charmaine has the photo in her 700+ photo
Theatres: Stage and Movie set of images culled (mostly)
 from various issues of Motion Picture News.

Many volumes of the Motion Picture News are
available for browsing on the internet Archive.






A view of the former State Theatre building.

photo: Bill Counter - 2010

[ click to enlarge ]


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    California State Library   




A wonderful look at the State Theatre facade from
the California State Library collection. We're running
"The Sign Invisible" with Mitchell Lewis, released in 1918. 
full size view | data page





A view of the boxoffice area. The California Library
dates these three views as 1919. 
full size view | data page




A look at the auditorium. 
full size view | data page



    Tahoe 61 on Flickr   

http://www.flickr.com/photos/33142718@N00/


A 1996 view of the State by Tahoe 61. 
full size view



    Theatres in Los Angeles   

A 1942 view of the State Theatre on p.107
of  "Theatres in Los Angeles" by Suzanne Tarbell
Cooper, Amy Ronnebeck Hall and Marc Wanamaker.
Arcadia Publishing, 2008.

Most of the rare photos in the book
are from Mr. Wanamaker's Bison Archives.

Ken McIntyre has also posted the photo
on his Photos of Los Angeles Facebook page.
It's also in one of his Photobucket albums.