The State Theatre
Your home for… performance
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 your theatre.
Community and culture, in concert.
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:
A Vibrant Cultural Hub
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.
A Place to Learn and Grow
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.
A Committed Partner for Charity and Development
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.
80 Years in the Making
Flicks for 35 cents
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.
Save 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.
Renovations are finally complete. The theatre opened to a performance by Grammy-award winner and former PSU football player Mike Reid. The sold-out opening night crowd included Governor Ed Rendell, Senator Jake Corman and Mayor Bill Welch. The proud Friedmans also sat in the audience, flanked by their two sons, family and a number of friends. The performance was electric, fed by an audience thrilled with the new cultural cornerstone of the community.
“We are saving history; we are saving cinema, and we are reviving and supporting cultural life in downtown State College.” —Mike Reid, Opening Night, December 14, 2006
The State Today
Today, The State Theatre is a vibrant hub of music, cinema, and live performance — the cultural heart of downtown State College and the Centre County region. Thanks to the ongoing support of our generous donors and patrons, we provide a state-of-the-art home for local artists and performance groups, a popular stop for quality national acts, and a place of community for locals, students, and visitors alike. The State depends on people like you to keep its curtain up. We hope you’ll consider giving, or even just stopping by for a show today.
“I am glad that I am able to enrich the cultural life of my hometown by supporting this organization and restoration project.” —Sidney Friedman
Karen Gregg, Executive Director
Email Karen at Karen@TheStateTheatre.org
Kerry Cavanaugh, Assistant Director of Marketing & Operations
Email Kerry at Kerry@TheStateTheatre.org
Greg Gabbard, Programming Director
Email Greg at Programming@TheStateTheatre.org
Mark “Augie” Petaja, Production Manager
Email Augie at Augie@TheStateTheatre.org
Sam Collins, Rentals Manager
Email Sam at rentals@TheStateTheatre.org
Kirk Larter, Accountant
Email Kirk at kirk@TheStateTheatre.org
Dan Culpepper, Box Office Manager
Email Dan at Dan@TheStateTheatre.org
Kyle Praskovich, Events Manager
Email Kyle at Kyle@TheStateTheatre.org
Board of Directors
A community at work and play
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 Karen Gregg at 814-272-0606 x 314, or by email at email@example.com.
American Cancer Society
Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund
Central PA 4th Fest
Central PA Festival of The Arts
Centre County Women’s Resource Center
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.
Help us decide which of your favorite acts to bring to The State. Join the discussion on our online Season Suggestions today!