State Theater

101 E. Center Street,
Mahanoy City, PA 17948

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Additional Info

Architects: Benjamin Rush Stevens

Previous Names: Herker Opera House, Hersker's Family Theater, Family Theater

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State Theater

The Herker Opera House was opened on the second floor of the building in 1895. It also went by the name Hersker’s Family Theater. It was a large four-story vaudeville house that was built directly off the railroad tracks (in rear of the building) enabling easy access to sets and other theatrical material traveling by rail. By 1909 it had been renamed Family Theater. It was remodeled in 1922 to the plans of Philadelphia architect Benjamin Rush Stevens. It was later renamed State Theater.

Contributed by Bobs

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

RJS on August 3, 2005 at 2:22 pm

Here is an early postcard image of the Family Theater.
View link

teecee on August 31, 2005 at 6:03 am

Bobs: You appear to be a NE PA resident. Can you update or visit the Pottsville Majestic? I can’t seem to find any recent news of the renovation. I don’t want to drive there until it is ready to open.

RJS on August 31, 2005 at 6:17 am

I may be in that area later this week. Will post any info I find. Lived in Pottsville when in college and don’t recall anything looking like a theater at that address, but the building may have been really changed.
If you ever drive into the area, be sure to check out the Strand in Hamburg, small but very cute place. Added it here a few weeks back.

RichardCWolfe on March 14, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Yes, the Family did become the State. The family was a 2nd floor house. When it was redone into the State, the building was gutted and the theatre put on the ground level. It was a beautiful theatre. I have all the original blueprints for the conversion into the State.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2017 at 3:45 pm

The May 27, 1922, issue of The American Contractor reported that the Family Theatre in Mahanoy City would receive alterations and additions, planned by Philadelphia architect Benjamin R. Stevens. This is the only theater project listed among the works of Benjamin Rush Stevens at the web site of Philadelphia Architects and Buildings.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2017 at 4:25 pm

The Family Theatre was built as the Hersker Opera House in 1895. It was a second-floor theater, and housed Hersker’s hardware store on the ground floor, at 101 E. Centre Street. The house had been renamed Family Theatre by 1909, the name under which it was listed in that year’s edition of the Cahn theater guide. At some point the building was gutted and rebuilt as the State Theatre, a ground floor house.

There is a photo of the Family Theatre on page 34 of the book Mahanoy Area, published by The Mahanoy Area Historical Society (Google Books preview>)

In this early panoramic viewof Mahanoy City, the Family Theatre building looms over the town’s lower business buildings at center right.

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