State Theatre

802 Jefferson Street,
Mendota, IL 61342

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Alger Theatres, Kerasotes Theatres

Previous Names: Princess Theatre, Palace Theatre, Strand Theatre

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State Theatre

The Princess Theatre was opened in 1912. By 1914 it had been renamed Palace Theatre. By 1927 it had been renamed Strand Theatre. In 1932 it was taken over by the Alger Theatres chain and renamed State Theatre. It was closed in the 1980’s.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

kencmcintyre on January 26, 2008 at 1:45 pm

This was a Kerasotes theater in the early Sixties.

kencmcintyre on January 31, 2010 at 8:13 pm

In 1948 the State was part of the Alger Theaters chain, headquartered in LaSalle. Owners were E.E. and H.R. Alger.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm

The State Theatre opened in a new building at the corner of Jefferson and Illinois Streets in 1912 as the Princess Theatre. The 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory lists it as the Palace Theatre. The builder and original operator, E. J. Degenhardt, had been one of the town’s barbers. He sold the business in 1924, but retained ownership of the building.

In 1926 the house was still listed in the FDY as the Palace Theatre, but by 1927 it had become the Strand Theatre. It was taken over and renamed the State by Alger Theatres by 1932, although last listed in the laggard FDY as the Strand in 1933. The July 2, 1932, issue of Motion Picture Herald said:

“ E. E. Alger of the State at Mendota, Ill., dug deep into his pockets to put that house in tip-top order with everything from projectors to ventilating equipment and seats.”
From 1926 through 1941 the house was listed with 450 seats. In the 1942 Yearbook it is listed with 700 seats, indicating that an expansion that had probably been completed before the end of 1941.

Konrad Schiecke’s book Historic Movie Theatres in Illinois says that the State Theatre closed in the 1980s.

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