State Theater

15. Hickory Street,
Mount Carmel, PA 17851

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JAN 1934

The State Theater was a small theater operated by Buckley Amusement Enterprises of Shamokin, PA. Buckley also operated the Capitol Theater and Majestic Theater in Shamokin and the Elk Theater in Mahanoy City. It was one of two theaters in Mt. Carmel the other being the grander Victoria Theater which had been built by the Chamerlain Amusement Co and later operated by Victoria Amusement Enterprises which was based in Shamokin and operated theaters under the Victoria name in Shamokin and Mahanoy City.

The State Theater closed in the late-1950’s.

Contributed by Gary Hoy

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm

This weblog post at Coal Region Notebook says that the State Theatre was at the southeast corner of Third and Hickory Streets. This comment by Stick82 on our Victoria Theatre page says that the State was located where the Post Office is now. The Post Office is indeed at the southeast corner of E. Third and Hickory Streets. The Post Office is at 1 S. Hickory, but I don’t know which street the theater fronted on.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 11, 2014 at 9:17 am

Stick82 says the State Theatre fronted on Hickory, the second building from the corner. The most likely address was thus 3 South Hickory Street.

SethG on September 19, 2022 at 12:32 pm

It seems likely that this was an adaptation of an old opera house. The 1885 Sanborn shows a two story wooden Grand Army of the Republic hall just north of the little row of houses (which are all still there). It appears that this had a small stage at the rear.

Sometime between 1891 and 1896, a large brick auditorium was added to the rear, extending all the way to Orange St. At this point, a small wooden, one story addition to the north side of the original building served as the ticket office. The 1905 Cahn guide calls it the Burnside Post Opera House (doubtless from the name of the GAR post), and gives the capacity as 1,000. By 1913, the Sanborn maps call it the Mt. Carmel Opera House.

With some small changes, this structure appears on the 1920 map, from which I have added a picture. No mention is made of movies on the 1907, 1913, or 1920 maps.

SethG on September 19, 2022 at 12:42 pm

Address is wrong. 1 S Hickory was a large wooden house on the corner. For some reason, both the 1907 and 1913 maps show the address as 1815, which must be wrong, but they correctly show the addresses for the houses to the south, and those remain unchanged today. 15 is likely correct, but it could have been any odd number between 3 and 15.

SethG on September 19, 2022 at 7:53 pm

Found the 1927 map online at Penn State, and there is still no mention of movies being shown at that time.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2022 at 1:16 am

The BoxRec boxing web site lists over a dozen bouts held at the GAR Opera House in Mount Carmel, most of them in 1921 and 1922, but two each year in 1923, 1924, and 1927. It could be that the house was used only intermittently for movies, or even not at all, before becoming the State, which might not have happened until the 1930s. The movies listed in the State’s ad on the photo page all date from 1933.

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