The following is a press release from the Save the State Theatre group:
Friends of the State Theatre President John Stagnone is pleased to announce a 20-year lease with C&V Realty Investment Trust as the first step in enabling this dedicated community group to restore and eventually operate the former State Theatre as a community theatre in downtown Stoughton.
Eighty-six years ago on December 8, 1927 the State Theatre opened to the public with much fanfare.
For months, John P. Curley, a Boston contractor, with his men and sub-contractors, rushed to finish this grand new edifice, with her beautiful high walls, spacious granite frontage, expansive stage with new scenery equipment, and a modern Estey Pipe Organ.
With her luxurious, comfortable seats, a model heating plant, state-of-the-art ventilation, and an electric sign at the front entrance, she and her sister theatre in Foxborough, MA elegantly entertained children and families throughout Massachusetts.
She was christened “The State Theatre,” and for six decades delighted audiences beginning with silent “moving pictures”, then “talkies” in the 30’s, and even Donald Duck’s debut movie, “The Wise Little Hen” in 1934.
At her height, the State Theater entertained with newly-released movies, and with the help of local, top-line talent, amused and entertained people from all over Southeastern Massachusetts and beyond.
The community group’s commitment is to restore the State Theatre and bring back movies, cultural arts, and live entertainment such as “The Little Theatre of Stoughton”, a drama and performance troupe with 57 years of running productions, many of them at the State Theatre in the 60s & 70s.
John Stagnone, President of the Friends of the State Theatre, insists that this restoration will help revitalize Stoughton’s downtown business district, saying “History has shown us how important cultural centers are to our economy and how surrounding business are spurred and thrive from each other.”
Friends of the State Theatre has filed to become a non-profit corporation, and is applying for grants, seeking support from private foundations, businesses and individuals.
To find out how you can help bring back the State Theatre go to www.statetheatre.us and you can follow the group on Facebook as well.