Women have played a major role in the operation of the State Theatre since it opened in November 1929 as a theater for top-tier, first-run movies , which were shown there for its first 30 years. It later expanded to offer dance and theatrical productions. After its manager, Ralph Tully, retired in 1963, he left it to Edith Thomas who had worked for him at the State for 17 years. After she was struck and killed by a car on Congress Street, the theater fell on hard times. It was leased as an X-rated theater until 1990 and fell into disrepair. The State reopened in 1993 under new management and again in 2000, but the building’s physical problems continued to plague its owners. It sat vacant until $1.5 million in repairs were completed, and the theater reopened in 2010 as a concert venue.
Currently managed and operated by Lauren Wayne, a well-known and respected local concert promoter, the 1,800-seat venue experienced a revival with 80 shows in its first year under Wayne’s direction.