State Theatre

347 W. 3rd Street,
San Bernardino, CA 92401

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Broadway Theatre, Unique Theatre, Savoy Theatre, Rialto Theatre

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The Broadway Theatre was opened on July 11, 1904, with seating provided for 515. It presented vaudeville and moving pictures. Following a remodel, it was renamed Unique Theatre from April 2, 1907. After a further remodel it was renamed Savoy Theatre on October 5, 1913. On October 7, 1921 it was renamed Rialto Theatre. Lester P. Humphreys was the owner of the Rialto Theatre when it was damaged in a fire on March 21, 1930.

On May 4, 1949 it was renamed State Theatre which had 900-seats. It was a short lived venture which included burlesque performances and closed on November 3, 1951. It was demolished in 1958.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on April 12, 2021 at 5:56 am

Alfred Morganstern launched the Broadway Theatre on Third Street on July 11, 1904 with live vaudeville opening with Maude Still and after five live acts, new moving pictures. On April 2, 1907, the remodeled Broadway became the Unique Theatre with vaudeville opening with Tommy Ryers and his trained monkeys and the Unique-o-Scope with some pictures on the screen. On October 5, 1913, the remodeled Unique became the Savoy Theatre opening and closing the evening with movies on the aluminoid screen and five live vaudeville acts between. On October 7, 1921, the remodeled Savoy became the Rialto Theatre.

A nitrate film explosion on March 21, 1930 closed the theater in need of a new projection booth. Lester P. Humphrey (no “s”) was the tough luck new operator of the charred venue. A remodeling effort took place with the theater relaunching remaining as the Rialto Theatre. Humphrey then sold the venue to James and Donald G. Knapp on July 9, 1932. The elder Knapp also had run the Temple and Strand prior to his death in 1933. The theater got a new marquee and a streamline look in 1936. Dietriech and Feldman remodeled the Rialto in 1946. The theatre devolved into a house playing exploitation and “adults only” film titles closing at the end of 1948.

On May 4, 1949, the theatre came back under new operators as the State Theatre with Jackie Cooper in “Where Are Your Children?” and “Are These Your Parents?” The operators promised “always a good show” for 25 cents - a rule that was violated on the very first day of operation. The State Theater’s policy changed to burlesque on September 21, 1951 with comedian “Little Jack Little” direct from Las Vegas and Lorraine Lee. Shows were 83 cents. That may have ended after the November 3, 1951 show that also featured Dempsey v. Willard boxing highlights. In 1953, the venue was used as a house of worship “at the State Theatre” and then called the Revival Center in 1958.

Likely shouldn’t be referenced as the Savoy Theatre.

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