State Theatre - Grand Rapids MI

Address: 543 Stocking Ave NW
City: Grand Rapids
State: MI
Zip: 49504
County: Kent
Open:
Capacity:
Owner History:
Theater Type: Downtown Movie Palace
Number of visits to this page: 8304
General Information:

Source: Doug Taylor

AKA Bird's New State opened its doors at 7 p. m. on Saturday, July 30, 1927. The first evening's program featured Ralph Waldo Emerson from radio station WLS in Chicago, at the console of a new Kilgen wonder organ. Built by Boshoven / Willer on the northwest corner of Stocking Avenue and Second Street, the State was operated by attorney Samuel H. Himelstein and later by Beecher's, Inc.

Harry C. Himelstein managed the theater for his brother in the 1930's, and was known for his showmanship and gimmicks (including raising dust from the stage floor as would attempt a little soft-shoe with his ample frame, according to John Szczytko). At that time, they lived at 311 Garfield N. W. This was perhaps the only theater in Grand Rapids to at one time feature Polish-language films. Creator: Father Dennis Morrow.

Info Updates:
8/6/2014 - Doug Taylor
The State Theater was on the NW corner of 2nd Street N. W. and Stocking Ave. It closed in 1950 and was demolished shortly afterwards. The I-196 Expressway goes through where the State's property was. Attached is a photo of the corner where the State Theater was.
9/9/2012 - Jim Fahlstedt
The Clique is/was not built in or on the site of the State. This wreck stood as a blight to the neighborhood between the bowling alley and the Arsoulowicz (sp?) morturary. It was abandoned sometime in the late 40s, I believe. The building was in horrible shape when it was finally removed. The site is parking for the Clique.
 Photos:1
State Theatre - 2022 STREET VIEW
2022 STREET VIEW
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