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Historic State Theater

Historic State Theater
209 West Dixie Avenue


The State Theater was constructed during 1942 for J.M. Hobbs, President of the Kentucky Amusement Company, by the T. J. Murphy Company of Bowling Green, Kentucky at a cost of $100,000. The theater was leased and operated by Bob Enoch during the majority of the time it was in use as a movie theater.

Fronting on Dixie Highway, the theater is one of the few remaining examples of Art Deco architecture in Hardin County. The building is constructed of brick in a common bond pattern. Significant features are the large marquee, neon signs and stepped roof parapet which are typical features of the Art Deco theater architecture of the late 1930's and 1940's.

The front facade includes in-laid geometric designs, which surround and emphasize the grand vertical marquee tower. Carrara glass accented portions of the front façade such as the ticket booth on the right of the building and the store-front style window on the left.

There are two entrances into the Historic State Theater. One entrance is on the far right next to the ticket booth that leads directly upstairs to the balcony. This entrance was used by the black patrons during the time of segregation and had a separate ticket window. The theater has a terrazzo floor and two sets of double doors which lead into the main lobby.

From the lobby there is a stairway on the left that leads up to the balcony. The balcony was divided into two (2) separate sections for white and black patrons. There are 277 seats in the balcony. At the back of the balcony is the projection room. It contains old preservable projectors and film reels.

Rambush Art Company of New York was commissioned to decorate the theater in varying shades of green and burgundy. Art works still exist of two (2) Greek Goddesses who hold the masks of comedy and tragedy. The State contained approximately 950 two-toned cushioned metal theater seats including the balcony area. The ground level contains three (3) sections of seat with two aisle ways. It was air-conditioned; a rarity in that day and time.

The Grand Opening on June 11, 1942 presented the movie "The Fleet's In," starring Dorothy Lamour, William Holden, Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton and featured the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra with Bob Eberly and Helen O'Connell.

Historic State Theater is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media