State Theater

Individual Landmark

Interior and Exterior

 

 Hennepin_Ave_805_State_Theater-1
1920

 Hennepin_Ave_805_State_Theater-2
2006

Address: 805 Hennepin Avenue

Neighborhood: Downtown West

Construction Date: 1920-21

Contractor: J.E.O. Pridmore

Architect: J.E.O. Pridmore

Architectural Style: Renaissance Revival

Historic Use: Culture/Recreation – Performing Arts Theater

Current Use: Culture/Recreation – Performing Arts Theater

Date of Local Designation: 1986

Date of National Register Designation: N/A

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture, Engineering

Period of Significance: 1900-

Historic Profile: The State Theater, constructed in the golden age of showplace in Minneapolis, created a feeling of luxury and splendor compatible with the glamour projected by the Hollywood films of the 1920s. Architect J.E.O. Pridmore described his exterior design for the State Theater, with its white glazed terracotta ornamentation, as free-style Italian Renaissance. The foyer and lobby areas have retained their original black and white marble floors, molder plaster coffered ceilings, crystal chandeliers and wrought iron railings. The 2,400 seat auditorium’s polychrome color scheme, monumental Corinthian pilasters, embroidered gold draperies, and crystal chandeliers suspended from a coffered ceiling are a combination of design characteristics from the Renaissance, Moorish, and Byzantine modes. On top of its elaborate architecture, the State Theater boasted the first rudimentary air-conditioning system in Minneapolis. The stage floor could also be modified within a few hours to accommodate any type of performance – films, vaudeville acts, concerts, ballets, and Broadway touring productions. The State Theater remained in continuous use, even through renovations in 1929 and 1957, until 1975. The theater was briefly owned by the Jesus People Church beginning in 1978. However by 1991, it was restored to its original use after nearly $9 million in renovations.

Photo Credits:

1920, Charles P. Gibson, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," February 1985.

Updated: February 2007

Last updated Nov 23, 2011