Visions For Vacancies: State Theater/Stoughton Cinema Pub

What would you like to see done with the former state theater/Stoughton Cinema Pub in the downtown?

Drive around Stoughton and you'll notice a number of empty storefronts and buildings.

We're continuing a new series titled "." We'll showcase an empty storefront and ask you what should take up the space.

Last week we asked what you would like to see done with the on Park Street.

This week, we turn our attention to the on Washington Street in the downtown.

The State Theater opened in 1927 and closed as the Stoughton Cinema Pub in 2007. It has been vacant since, but a "Save The State Theater" group led by Michael Mutascio has been working to raise the funds needed to restore the building to its former glory.

Some see the reopening of the theater as a key to any .

What is your take? What would like to see done with the building? Should it remain a theater or do you have a different idea for the building? Would reopening the theater help to give the downtown a boost?

Should the town provide the funding or resources for the restoration effort or should it be done through private fundraising? 

Let us know your specific ideas in the comments section.

Terry Schneider August 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I believe that the theatre must be saved, it is one of the oldest in the Commonwealth and has been part of the Stoughton community for so long. I applaud Mike Mustascio and his "Save State Theatre" group for their efforts but it might be time for them to step aside, just for a bit, and allow the big guns to come in and do what's needed. Car washes and bottle collections are just not going to raise the kind of money, or awareness needed to get this done.
Dale F. Appel August 16, 2012 at 12:54 PM
I would like to see the State Theater/Stoughton Cinema Pub used not only for live productions, but also as a venue to be able to see independent films such as the Regent Theatre in Arlington or the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline. Since it is one of the oldest in Massachusetts, has anyone looked into grant money as an historical site or through the Council for the Arts?
Fiscal Conservative August 16, 2012 at 01:14 PM
To save the theater is a commendable goal, yet, it may be impractacle. I would love to see it restored and brought back to its original self. There are several problems with this. The first being PARKING. To be viable, there must be adequate parking. Until that is solved (which can be, if people want) the next is how can the theater best be utilized by the community? Live shows, concerts, plays, movies, anything that can keep people going to the theater 24/7/365. Until a feazable plan can be developed, it may be doomed to failure. I don't want to see that. Far too many days in my children and early adult years were spent in that theater, bringing joy to my life. I would love to see residents receive what I did. Maybe its time the "community" band together to get this project completed. Maybe a joint public/private venture is needed. It may be worth looking into.
Audrey Mutascio August 16, 2012 at 02:43 PM
We would like to see it brought up to code and available for live performances; plays, bands, comedians. It's a beautiful old venue with so much potential. I agree that bottle drives, car washes , meat raffles etc are not going to do it but it's something that we're passionate about seeing brought back to life.
Fiscal Conservative August 16, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Could you seek corporate sponsorships? Plaques in the lobby indicating various levels of sponsorships. Sponsor seats w/names of donators. Seek grants from performing arts groups, gov't or any other means. If it is truly your passion to see this project to completion I think the owners need to be much more aggressive in obtaining the funds needed. There must be funds available
lowertaxes August 16, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I would love to see the theatre up and running again. Parking at night and on weekends is usually ok there as you can park in the MBTA lot but anytime other than that it is a serious problem. Also, unless the town is going to take the Center seriously and do something about traffic and the disaster that is the Malcolm and Parshley building than what is the point?
Fiscal Conservative August 16, 2012 at 09:06 PM
How about reappropriating the $500K that Kafka wants so he can get on to Central St, in the morning, and using it towards refurbishing the State Theater. Many, many people would enjoy the benefits of this. It would certainly be better use of the "People's" Tax Dollars than a traffic light to appease JUST one politician. Wait a minute, this is Massachusetts. When did a politician do something that would benefit those they represent. Wrong state, sorry.
Terry Schneider August 17, 2012 at 12:30 PM
As many of us know, the non-profit New England Sinai Hospital is in the process of being purchased by Steward Healthcare, a for profit. What that means to Stoughton is a substantial property tax revenue to be expected in the very near future. Perhaps some of that "found money" could be put towards the purchase of the "State Theatre" and our beloved train depot. These are two gems of our town that have provided much of the character of Stoughton for many years and they still have plenty of character in them!!
Regina Ierardi August 17, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The Little Theatre of Stoughton used to call this home. Apparently they are putting on Snow White this weekend and next at the Cedar Hill Golf Course because they couldn't get any other venue. According to the website, the group has been around for 49 seasons. Getting the theatre up and running again would be a great thing for them as well as getting other live performances and indi films shown.
begood August 17, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I would also like the theatre reopened and used for live performances, but also independent films.
SoxFan August 19, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Keep it a theatre for movies and live theatre. I wouldn't mind coffee house type music but don't try to make it a night club atmosphere or large concerts.
Bob Ross August 23, 2012 at 02:14 PM
I think it should be opened for both live performances and films if restored. I have never been inside so I don't know what kind of audience it can hold, but it could hold family movie nights, independent movie nights, local theatre group productions and live bands. If Stoughton buys the train station, they would then have access to all the parking spots the T has and therefore plenty of parking. That would bring in another $4 a car for the town. Town wins, people win, performers win.


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