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The State Room (photo credit The State Room)

The State Room

South San Francisco, California, United States

First Opened: 2nd October 1931 (91 years ago)

Atmospheric Style: Spanish Courtyard

Architects: Reid Brothers

Status: Repurposed

Former Name: State Theater

Website: www.stateroom.org Link opens in new window

Address: 201 Linden Avenue, South San Francisco, CA 94080 Link opens in new window


Overview

The State Theater, dubbed the “Pride of the Peninsula”, opened in early October 1931 with the movie Smart Money Link opens in new window starring Edward Robinson.

Auditorium in the 1930s
Auditorium in the 1930s

The 1,000-seat theatre was built by the Bay Shore Theater Corporation for a reported $125,000.

The State was designed in an Atmospheric style with a Spanish courtyard theme by M.J. Reid of architect firm Reid Bros., who at the time had designed around 40 theatres in Northern California (including the Merced Theatre), in addition to California landmarks such as the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, the Grand Lake Theatre in Oakland, and the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego.

In the early 1940s the gable roof entrance tower was squared-off with stucco in an Art Deco style.

Upper auditorium in 2022, as <i>The State Room</i>
Upper auditorium in 2022, as The State Room

After several decades the theatre closed in the early 1960s and was used by All Soul’s Church for some time. The theatre ultimately closed on 13th March 1973.

In 1978, Robert Giorgi bought the building and despite some renovations kept the original auditorium intact.

The building was given over to a mix of offices, retail, and a ballroom which was created by dividing the auditorium horizontally into two floors, the ballroom (called The State Room) in the upper section of the auditorium, retaining the original atmospheric appearance.

More recently the stucco walls covering-up the original entrance tower were removed, revealing the original gable roof. Some of the original filigree had to be painstakingly restored by hand in a process that included restoring the original roof line of the steeple.

The State Room has been designated a Historic Resource by the City of South San Francisco.

Information in part sourced from The State Room Link opens in new window.

Further Reading

Online

Historic Photos & Documents
News of the theatre’s opening, as reported in the 2nd October 1931 edition of <i>The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal</i> (540KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s opening, as reported in the 2nd October 1931 edition of The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal (540KB PDF)
Theatre ads as printed in the 2nd October 1931 edition of <i>The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal</i> (620KB PDF)
Theatre ads as printed in the 2nd October 1931 edition of The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal (620KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s opening as reported in the 9th October 1931 edition of <i>The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal</i> (310KB PDF)
News of the theatre’s opening as reported in the 9th October 1931 edition of The Enterprise and the South San Francisco Journal (310KB PDF)
Exterior circa 1930s, courtesy <i>South San Francisco Public Library</i> (JPG)
Exterior circa 1930s, courtesy South San Francisco Public Library (JPG)
Auditorium rear, date unknown, courtesy <i>South San Francisco Public Library</i> (JPG)
Auditorium rear, date unknown, courtesy South San Francisco Public Library (JPG)
Auditorium, date unknown, courtesy <i>South San Francisco Public Library</i> (JPG)
Auditorium, date unknown, courtesy South San Francisco Public Library (JPG)
Files displayed in this section may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media.

Photos of The State Room

Photo credits are noted where data was available at the time of inclusion. Photos displayed here may be subject to copyright; refer to our Copyright Fair Use Statement regarding our use of copyrighted media and contact us Contact Us with any concerns.

Photos by The State Room
The State Room: Closeup of side wall, courtesy <i>The State Room</i>
Closeup of side wall, courtesy The State Room
The State Room: Bar area at rear of old auditorium, courtesy <i>The State Room</i>
Bar area at rear of old auditorium, courtesy The State Room
The State Room: The Ballroom, courtesy <i>The State Room</i>
The Ballroom, courtesy The State Room
Interior
The State Room: State Room entrance stairway from street
State Room entrance stairway from street
The State Room: Bar Area from House Right
Bar Area from House Right
The State Room: Overlooking Bar Area (left of original Projection Booth)
Overlooking Bar Area (left of original Projection Booth)
The State Room: Dancefloor
Dancefloor
The State Room: House Left side closeup
House Left side closeup
The State Room: House Right side closeup
House Right side closeup
The State Room: Looking to Proscenium
Looking to Proscenium
The State Room: Looking to rear of auditorium
Looking to rear of auditorium
The State Room: Proscenium and House Left side
Proscenium and House Left side
The State Room: Proscenium Arch
Proscenium Arch
The State Room: Proscenium Arch closeup
Proscenium Arch closeup
The State Room: Sidewall closeup
Sidewall closeup
Exterior
The State Room: Exterior from Baden Avenue
Exterior from Baden Avenue
The State Room: Entrance
Entrance
The State Room: Exterior from Linden and Baden
Exterior from Linden and Baden


Photographs copyright © 2002-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos unless otherwise noted.

Text copyright © 2017-2022 Mike Hume / Historic Theatre Photos.

For photograph licensing and/or re-use contact me here Contact Us.





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