Movies return to downtown Ithaca's iconic State Theatre this weekend

January 16, 2014

In a downtown Ithaca building that's nearly a century old, the State Theatre has spent the last decade or so entertaining area residents with music, comedy, dance, and other stage productions. This weekend, the iconic theatre returns to its cinematic roots with two family-friendly movies.

Movie season kicks off at the State this Saturday at 1pm with "Pete's Dragon," a Disney film blending live action and animation that features a boy and a dragon named Elliott, and continues with a 7pm showing of "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," a Steven Spielberg film that features an alien and a boy named Eliot (no relation).

The building dates back to 1915, when, like a surprising number of Ithaca's old edifaces, it was an auto dealership and service station. It was converted into a theatre in the 1920s, and for decades served as a cinema and vaudeville performance space. It closed in the late 1980s, but was bought in 1998 by Historic Ithaca, which set out to renovate and reopen the downtown space.

The State Theatre will also be showing "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "The Shining," and "The Big Lebowski" in the coming weeks, in addition to a live performance lineup that includes Galumpha, Philip Glass, Keb Mo, and BB King.

Tickets for each movie this weekend are $3 for children and $6 for adults, and are available online at with a service charge, or at the theatre box office.


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