Ely’s Historic State Theater

Salerno Building

Plans for the State Theater & Salerno Building

We are working with consultants to create a multi-purpose independent theater that will show films and also have the capability of accommodating musical events and live theater. By incorporating the adjacent Salerno Building to the east, this independent theater operation can house an additional screening room for smaller audiences, as well as a spacious casual food/concessions component and social area that will welcome customers before, during, and after movie screenings. On the second floor of the two buildings, there will be several up to date office/business incubation spaces for use in events, conferences and meetings. For more information, check out www.elystatetheater.com!

Relighting Ceremony 2016

Hundreds of people lined Sheridan Street on July 30th, 2016 to witness the relighting of the State Theater Marquee. Dusk settled, children gravitated toward the popcorn machine and a countdown ensued. The High School Mascot pranced over to pull the switch that would result in an uproar from the crowd, as the State Theater Marquee shone, vibrant and hopeful, for the first time in decades.

Floor Plan

History of the State Theater

The State Theater was built in 1936 and was owned by the Swanson family in Ely. Its designer was a noted architecture firm known as Liebenberg & Kaplan, who had designed many theaters in Minnesota and other northern states. Our goal with this historic building is to work with the State of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Interior Guidelines to restore the exterior and interior to its original condition.

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