The State Theater

4712 El Cajon Blvd


The State Theater held its Grand Opening on August 29, 1940.   The photo on the left appears to have been taken before that.  The marquee on the night shot shows the movies featured below.

The interior of the theater harkened back to the Opera House or Vaudeville Days.

The theater closed in 1987 and was replaced by a strip mall

Thanks for the nice remembrance of the State Theater.  I was there many times in my youth. Here’s a photo of what's left of it - the entry sidewalk.  At least they left that!  I took the photo in August, 2018.  The men in the photo are Warren Dean, DDS, who grew up in Kensington and went to Hoover, and Ken Gimbel who is from Detroit but has lived in Scripps Ranch for several decades -- Larry Okmin '64

(I hope that's the remains of a spilled cappuccino -- JF)


I worked at both, many years North Park and only a short time at State! I rode my bike to the North Park, ate many meals at Chinese restaurant next door -- Susan Menconi Underwood '60

Sharon Bentley Ball and I worked at the North Park Theatre our senior year -- Beverly Umholtz Wadman ’60

Oh, the memories at State Theater.  I remember seeing the Crawling Eye, The Blob, The Invisible Man, The Fifty Foot Woman, and all the Godzilla movies -- Greg Thomas '69

The state theater was by my house.  Next to it was my barber shop I went to, a real time deli, and a bar where I had my first "legal" drink at 2.  Thanks for the great memories -- Barry Penn ’64

Lynn Elliott, Liz Maharis, Linda Dawes, Paulette Post and I all lived behind the Sate Theatre in Talmadge Park -- Marcia MacDonald ’62

My older sister Carole and I used to go to the State theatre several; times a month in the 1950s. Thanks for the memory -- Jerry Smithson ’63

I remember going to the State Theater as well as the North Park Theater and the Helix Theaters. Miss those great times of the past -- Donna Smith Towne ’62

I have very fond memories of the State. On Saturdays when mom wanted to have her "quiet time" she would give each of us a dollar and pack us off the the State.  35 cents admission, 10 cent bag of popcorn, 10 cent coke & 5 cent candy bar and/or milk duds.  8 cartoons, 3 serials & a double feature. What a great way to spend a Saturday -- Jerry Ellis '61

Your State theater piece reminded me of the night I had attended a movie there (one of many).  After the movie let out I was awaiting my mom to come pick me up in front ot the theater, when out of nowhere (well, somewhere) came a car flying by….  an egg came flying out in my direction, hitting me in the leg.  Never thought a raw egg would hurt like that.    Loved going to the State, Academy, Crest and Park theaters back in the day.  On some trips downtown we would go the the Fox, Orpheum, Spreckels, California theaters.  Probably hit almost every drive-in throughout the greater San Diego area over the years.  Favs were the Rancho and Campus drive-ins. Thanks for reminding me of the painful memory -- Ron Morse ‘64

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