State Wayne Theater

35310 W. Michigan Avenue,
Wayne, MI 48184

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Showing 1 - 25 of 30 comments

graymatters on April 18, 2021 at 11:24 am

My grandfather Albert S. “Al” Johnson’s Johnson Construction Company built the beautiful State Wayne Theatre in 1946. Though extensively remodeled since, it’s one of a handful of Johnson-built theaters that is still open today, as a luxury cinema complex with three movie screens and one live performance stage.

Al took a single exterior slide in June 1948, which I’ve uploaded to this website. The image shows the large curved entrance to the theater with three pairs of double doors in natural color. A large curved marquee wraps around a corner of the building and features a vertical neon “State” sign on top.

CoryJacobson on November 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

Please check out the street view feature. We have included the interior of the theatre as well as the exterior to allow the viewer to move around the theatre with the click of a mouse.

Joe Cork
Joe Cork on November 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

With the Classic State-Wayne turning 70 at the end of this year we wanted to do something special. We put together a website to celebrate the rich history and to honor Mr. Movie Man himself, Walter Shafer.

CMHurley on March 20, 2016 at 8:27 am

Oh, and the black light fluorescent dragons are still on the walls for those that know the theater.

CMHurley on March 20, 2016 at 8:15 am

This is my home town theater. Beautiful! I’m so happy to see it’s still going strong. For years it languished, closed for awhile, split into two screens, then closed, then open, then closed, then four plexed showing second and third run films, then closed, then open showing old classic movies, then gradually morphing back into second and third run films, then Phoenix Theaters took over and now first run films, digital projection and sound, leather reclining seats, fresh popped popcorn (no bags trucked in!), and very reasonable prices. Saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens there in January, a fantastic experience. If anyone truly loves classic old movie houses, this is the place to go. I’ll upload some photos I just recently took.

CoryJacobson on November 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm

State Wayne Celebrates “Rockytober”

CoryJacobson on November 4, 2015 at 3:19 pm

State Wayne Marquee Goes Green

CoryJacobson on March 5, 2015 at 3:49 pm

The split that was done in the 1990’s by the City of Wayne was reasonably done. The ceiling is untouched and the split could be easily removed if it was economically reasonable to do so.

JackCoursey on March 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

Does anything remain of the original auditorium or was it gutted when it was divided into four venues?

CoryJacobson on March 1, 2015 at 4:03 pm

We are pleased to announce that in September of 2014 the Classic State Wayne Theatre building was purchased by Phoenix Theatres from the City of Wayne. A complete upgrade of the seating was made and the theatre now features 100 percent fully reclining electric seats, plus carpeted auditoriums. Additionally, auditorium 3 & 4 were given larger pictures sizes for a new wall to wall digital image.

CSWalczak on November 17, 2012 at 7:29 pm

This theater has been renovated again and digital projection has been installed. View article. The theater is now being operated by Phoenix Theaters (the Michigan company, not Phoenix BIG Cinemas).

JackCoursey on July 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm

The Wayne State is an icon; a remarkable piece of architecture and pure eye candy. A couple of 2010 photos for your pleaure:

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on January 27, 2008 at 7:00 am

State Wayne Movie Listings:

View link

mila659 on March 22, 2005 at 6:49 am

I’m a Plymouth native, actually.

After extensive research theater management I understand your reservations about running first run movies there. At present we’re surveying Plymouth City and Township to figure out what people will come and see. Thus far it looks like we’ll be showing more 2nd run films, classics and the occasional independent movie, as well offering children’s live entertainment, comedy nights, etc.

The Friends of the Penn will have its next meeting, “Envision the Penn”-Town Hall, on April 10th at 7pm in the Masonic Temple next to the Penn in downtown Plymouth. Please come to share your thoughts and hear the results of the survey. In the meantime continue checking the website: for updates.

-Jennifer Philpot-Munson

Blueberry on March 22, 2005 at 5:38 am

So sorry, but there are a few first run movie theatres within 5-10 miles of this theatre… You must not live in the area, otherwise you would know that.

mila659 on February 12, 2005 at 3:47 pm

Oops, forgot to mention that the Penn Theater is in Plymouth.

mila659 on February 12, 2005 at 3:46 pm

At the Penn we’re hoping to have first run and independent movies on the weekends, and classics during the week. Nothing is officially a ‘go’, however, until we can convince city council that it’s a worthwhile investment ;)

I’ll keep you all posted. Wish us luck!

sdoerr on November 4, 2004 at 3:37 pm

I never said there was nothing wrong with seeing a second run movie, I just feel it would do its best if it did first run, plus there is no first run movie theaters within the next 5-10 miles.

sdoerr on November 2, 2004 at 7:42 pm

no, no, it takes away for the experience of the theater, not the whole movie experience itself. It seems second run doesn’t fit the State-Wayne very well. I guess you have to be there to understand.

RobertR on November 2, 2004 at 6:08 pm

wow, wish they did that today. But yes the second runs really take away the experience.. if only it was vlassic or first run. ALso I will be getting pics soon, ontop of the marquee… the projection booth, the old womens restroom, and the cry room (complete with the original seats :D)
posted by Neo on Jul 19, 2004 at 12:37am

Why does second run take away a good movie experiance?

sdoerr on November 2, 2004 at 5:55 pm

A new $500,000 renovation is coming to the theater, most are good.

Ceramic tile in lobby with theate marquee imprinted on it (believe they got the idea from Civic in Farmington)
New doors to replicate the original art deco doors (I always wanted this, I support it 100%)
Dragon painting in the one theater expanded (its an ugly thing)
Updated and extended concession stand.
Other upgrades like bathrooms.

I believe that is all that they are going to do. I wish they restored the marquee, it is a little rusted.

The theater will be closed sometime this month,
and take 2 months to complete.

sdoerr on October 15, 2004 at 1:19 pm

as promised, the goodies, I have just finished the page. I have the same description because I wrote it ;).

Here it is:

sdoerr on July 18, 2004 at 9:37 pm

Wow, wish they did that today. But yes the second runs really take away the experience.. if only it was classic or first run. Also I will be getting pics soon, on top of the marquee… the projection booth, the old womens restroom, and the cry room (complete with the original seats :D)