State Theater (1928-2008)
The State Theater was constructed in 1927, built on the location of the Orpheum Theater, which stood on that location since 1915. The theater was designed by architect Charles W. Bates, standing as one of the most technologically advanced theaters of its time. After construction, the theater was equipped with a Movietone sound system. The theater stopped showing movies in 1970; in 1974, the building opened as "Tomorrow Club," a rock-n-roll night club. This club transitioned into the Agora, a venue that specialized in rock-n-roll concerts. The Agora had famous acts such as RUSH, AC/DC, KISS, The Runaways, Heart, and The Ramones. The theater continued to transition throughout the 1980s when it transitioned from a Civic Center to a Hard Rock venue known as the Starr Theater, and an RnB venue, known as the Starr Palace. The State Theater was demolished in 2008 after being vacant for 30 years. The only remnant of the State Theater is its front facade, saved during demolition, which can still be seen today.
Backstory and Context
The State Theater was built on the site of another historic theater, the lot on which the State Theater stands formerly held the Orpheum Theater, constructed in 1915. The State Theater was constructed in 1927, standing as one of the most technologically advanced theaters of its time. The State Theater had the latest in motion picture technology as well as installing Movietone equipment to produce sound in the theater in 1927. The building was designed by architect Charles W. Bates and engineer William M. Cook. The theater was placed on West Federal Street as it was the heart of Youngstown’s commercial district at the time.
The State Theater operated as a movie theater until 1970, when the building was closed for its intended purpose as a movie theater. The building was renovated and re-opened on October 20, 1974, as the Tomorrow Club, a rock-n-roll themed night club. The Tomorrow Club went under on December 22, 1978, giving way to a new venue called The Agora. The Agora was also a rock-n-roll themed venue; however, the Agora catered more towards concerts than as a club experience. The Agora was host to many famous acts over its lifetime. Artists such as RUSH, AC/DC, KISS, The Runaways, Heart, and The Ramones, to name a few. The Agora closed its doors on July 23, 1982; this came rather abruptly due to dwindling attendance as well as vandalism in the area caused by concert goers.
The State Theater continued to house various venues for the rest of the 1980s, including a Civic Center, a Hard Rock venue known as the Starr Theater, the Starr Theater was replaced by the Starr Palace. The Starr Palace hosted a showcase for R&B, blues, jazz, hip-hop, and soul groups in late 1986. The theater closed for good in 1988 after all the various venues went defunct. The State Theater was demolished in 2008 after being vacant for 30 years. The only remnant of the State Theater is its front facade, saved during demolition, which can still be seen today.
Williams , Judy. State Theater . Ohio Historic Inventory Form . Published July 23rd 1986. National Register of Historic Places .
Harris , John. State Theater , http://cinematreasures.org/. Accessed October 28th 2019. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/2559.
State theater Reopens as Rock Concert Hall, https://mahoninghistory.org/. August 7th 2017. Accessed October 28th 2019. https://mahoninghistory.org/2017/08/07/state-theater-reopens-as-rock-concert-hall/.
YOUNGSTOWN AGORA: 12-31-78 TO 7-23-82, https://yosteelstrings.wordpress.com/. June 11th 2012. Accessed October 28th 2019. https://yosteelstrings.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/youngstown-agora-12-31-78-to-7-23-82/.
. TOMORROW CLUB: 10-20-74 TO 12-22-78, https://yosteelstrings.wordpress.com/. May 24th 2012. Accessed October 28th 2019. https://yosteelstrings.wordpress.com/2012/06/24/tomorrow-club-10-20-74-to-12-22-78/.