Hanover Theatre

39 Frederick Street,
Hanover, PA 17331

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Hanover Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit, Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp., William Goldman Theaters Inc.

Firms: Gemmill & Billmeyer

Previous Names: State Theatre

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News About This Theater

Hanover Theatre

Originally known as the State Theatre, this theatre opened September 28, 1928 with William Haines in “Excess Baggage” and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy in “Should Married Men Go Home?”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual 8 rank pipe organ which was opened by organist E. Wayne Klaiss.

In the 1940’s the State Theatre was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. From 1950 the State Theatre was operated by William Goldman Theaters Inc. who closed the theatre on February 1, 1965. It became a teen club & performance space. It was given a lavish makeover in 1965 when the ticket booth from the Park Theatre (aka Hanover Opera Theater) was installed, the original seats were replaced with new seats, the auditorium’s walls were covered with sound proofing fabric, and the theatre was renamed Hanover Theatre, again operated by William Goldman Theaters Inc. opening on May 14, 1965 with Richard Widmark in “Cheyenne Autumn”. It was sold to Fox Theatres (Reading PA) and was closed on August 30, 1984.

It was sold to antique dealers. Purchased in October 2007 by a private group of individuals who were planning to restore and reopen the theatre as a performing arts center. Sadly this never happened and the theatre building sits vacant and ‘For Sale’ in 2019.

Contributed by Lost Memory, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

jrobin on December 5, 2011 at 11:19 am

Arthur Brounet was the decorator on this theater. We hope his great grandson Bob Marshall will see this and comment or contact us. We are doing a lot of research on this theater.

jrobin on February 12, 2012 at 10:39 am

Hanover Theater spotlighted by Preservation PA http://www.eveningsun.com/ci_19755339?IADID=Search-www.eveningsun.com-www.eveningsun.com

HenryS on September 24, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Friends of Hanover State Theatre: http://www.friendsofhst.org/ Keep up-to-date & see latest photos via Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/friendsofhst

janetwerner on January 25, 2015 at 8:05 am

We just drove by this theater and it is For Sale

Patsy on October 15, 2015 at 2:46 pm

This Place Matters!

Renae on November 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm

Hello, Hanover Enthusiasts! I’ve been trying to get in contact with anyone who can give me information about this theatre! I’m writing a business plan about rejuvenating vintage theatres and was hoping to base this plan around the Hanover theatre and save it! If anyone has contact information for who I could talk to about, it would be wonderful! The email I have found seems to be out of order!

Thanks ahead of time! I’ll keep checking this forum.

DavidZornig on July 30, 2020 at 2:29 pm

June 2020 article about renovation.


DavidZornig on July 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm

Facebook page for Hanover Theatre. Many photos.


dallasmovietheaters on September 22, 2021 at 5:43 pm

The State Theatre launched September 28, 1928 with William Haines in “Excess Baggage” supported by shorts including Laurel & Hardy’s “Should Married Men Go Home?” Architects were Gemmmill & Billmeyer (plans are in photos). On August 18, 1930, the Warner Bros. circuit took on the venue along with the Strand. Warner Bros. had to divest its theatre interests and William Goldman took on the State, Strand and Park in 1950.

Goldman first closed the Strand in 1953, then the Park in 1964 and, finally, the State on February 1, 1965 with “The Americanization of Emily” and “The Secret of Magic Island.” It soon became home for a teen club and performance space. Goldman was convinced to reconsider the decision and refreshed the theatre with a lavish grand reopening on May 14, 1965 as the Hanover Theatre. Its first film was “Cheyenne October.”

Goldman sold the venue to Fox Theatres of Reading. They would build a modern single-screen theatre that became a quad in 1983. It was only a matter of time before Fox would move on from the aging downtown theatre. The theatre closed August 30, 1984 with “Oxford Blues.” (The 1986 date is in error.)

All references to the architect of this building is Gemmill & Billmeyer including signed drawings - see, e.g., Variety (August 17, 1927, p. 30).

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