Built on the site of the Lyric Theatre which was destroyed by a fire on January 3, 1948. The State Theatre opened on June 30, 1949 with 1,023 seats. It closed on September 10, 1978 for remodeling into a twin screen cinema. In December 1984 it was purchased by the Kerasotes chain.
In January 1996 the State Theatre was purchased by Barry Cole for the Michigan Ensemble Theatre and it closed as movie theatre on April 13, 1996. A 6.9 million renovation into a Community Performing Arts Center was envisaged, but these plans stalled. In September 2003 another restoration group took on a restoration project on the State Theatre. In June 2005 it was given a general cleaning and fix up to prepare for the Traverse City Film Festival in July 2005.
The State Theatre was officially reopened on November 17, 2007 with a gala premiere of “The Kite Runner”. Today she sits in great shape with her neon State upright sign and large marquee in funtioning order. [Cinema Treasures]