Issue 19pulse

Pardon the Dust


By Noel Daniel

Even though the floor’s been torn out and  the columns torn down, the show must go on. Patrons of The State Theatre might notice some changes in the beloved 80-year-old Modesto landmark. A number of renovations are in store for the building, and there’s protective plastic spread on the carpets to prove it.

DSC00727“We’re here to serve our patrons and decided early on in this process that, while we may be inconvenienced, we aren’t going to inconvenience them or eliminate films,” said Sue Richardson, Executive Director at The State Theatre. “Our patrons depend on us so we’re going to be here.”

State Theatre employees haven’t missed a beat in spite of the extensive renovations. Changes include doubling the size of their concession area and adding light refreshments, an espresso machine and two bartender stations. To accommodate the demand for popular events, The State Theatre will soon have two staff members working the box office, where in the past they only had one. To open up the space, they’ve removed some of the columns and are changing the lights in the lobby.
“We serve a lot of people and to make them have to wait for their order, be it a cocktail, a glass of premium wine or, now, an order of Nicolaus Farms cheesecake, was simply not the way we wanted to move forward with our business,” Richardson said.

As a non profit, The State Theatre strives to serve the community the best they can—but requires help from the community, as well.

DSC00730“We are looking to the community to step up and support this project, just as they did when we converted from 35mm prints to digital projection and replaced our entire cinema sound system three years ago,” Richardson said. “We went from marginal to the best and managed to raise the $300,000 needed to make that happen thanks to our board members and the generosity of those in our community.”

Quality is important, and the theatre refuses to compromise that, opting for advanced equipment like their marquee, the cinema sound system, and the digital projection system.

Thanks to the generosity of the community, the property and updated equipment is fully paid off—but that’s not all that’s in store. In the long term, the theatre wants to add sidewalk seating, morning films, a morning book club, pastries, and espresso drinks.

“We do need help with this project,” said Richardson, “and we are greatly appreciative of gifts of any size.”

For More Information, or to Support the Theatre, visit

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