The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

The State Theater

Open September 8, 1928-September 20, 1932.

George A. Roy of San Francisco Announces He Has Leased
Portion of New Montgomery Ward Building for 'State' Film Theater.
    Announcement was made today by George A. Roy of San Francisco that he had leased the corner unit of the Montgomery Ward building, now under construction at South Central Avenue and Eighth Street, and will open therein about September 1 next a new moving picture theater. The playhouse will be called "The State," and according to Mr. Roy will represent an investment of approximately $20,000.
    Equipment for the theater has been purchased and contracts signed for films, according to Mr. Roy.
    A Moviephone--the first in the state, according to the claims of the management--will be installed with synchronized music with all picture presentations. The pictures will be cast upon the screen by the latest type of movie mirror art reflector. The theater will be cooled and heated by the Colvent system. Upholstered chairs will be installed.
    It is the plan of Mr. Roy, when in operation, to present a change of pictures daily, except Wednesday and Thursday. There will be a continuous show from 1 to 11 o'clock. The admission price will be set at 10c for children and 15c for adults.
    Roy has been connected with the motion picture business for 20 years, and now has an interest in two picture theaters in Nevada.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 19, 1928, page 1

Theater Man Leases Part of Building on South Central
    Medford is to have a new movie theater.
    Such was the announcement made yesterday forenoon by G. A. Roy, late of San Francisco, who has been conducting theaters in that state and in Nevada for the past 20 years.
    Some time ago Mr. Roy negotiated a lease for one of the rooms in the Leverette building, which is being constructed at the corner of South Riverside and Eighth Street, and which is to be the home of Montgomery Ward & Co.
    According to Mr. Roy the theater will be opened about September 1. He returned this week from Portland, where he completed the booking of pictures for the coming year. Modern picture machines have been ordered and will be equipped with the latest type of mirror arc reflector lamps. "Our biggest surprise," said Mr. Roy, "will be in our music, which is known as the Moviephone, the first of the kind to be installed in Oregon. The Moviephone is the latest music sensation for the perfect synchronization of music to motion pictures."
Will Seat 400
    The new theater will have a seating capacity of 400 and will be modernly equipped throughout. The modern type of upholstered chairs have been ordered, and a complete ventilating and heating system, insuring perfect ventilation and temperature at all seasons.
    "Popular prices will prevail," says Mr. Roy, with an admission of 10 cents for children and 15c for adults prevailing at all shows. Two-hour programs will be provided regularly. Continuous shows will be run from 1 o'clock in the afternoon to 11 o'clock at night. There will be six changes of pictures weekly, Thursday being the only day on which new programs will not be afforded.
    Commenting on his decision to locate in Medford, Mr. Roy said: "I have visited all the leading cities and towns of the Northwest with a view to opening a new theater, and after a complete investigation of the field came to the conclusion that Medford afforded opportunities available in no other place. Medford is not only one of the best small cities on the coast, but there is every indication that it has an excellent chance for growth and development for many years to come."
Family to Come
    Mr. Roy has a family of a wife and son who will come to Medford and assist him in the management of the theater and make this their permanent home.
    Work on the fine new block which Mr. Leverette is having constructed is progressing at a rapid pace and will be ready for occupancy on the contract date. The walls of the large structure have been completed and the concrete forms are being torn away.
Medford Daily News, July 20, 1928, page 1

    Medford, Ore.—George A. Ray [sic] of San Francisco has leased a unit of the Montgomery Ward Building in which he will open a theater  to  cost  $20,000 .
"New Theaters," The Film Daily, August 6, 1928, page 7

    Four years ago, in a hotel room in Reno, Nev., a coin was flipped by G. Roy to decide whether he should open a moving picture theater in the Nevada metropolis or in Medford, Oregon. Mr. Roy had spent considerable time investigating the possibilities in various cities on the coast, and his choice lay between the two places mentioned. Chance decreed that the new theater venture should be launched in Reno. Medford, however, remained in the movie man's mind.
    The theater in Nevada proved successful from the start, as well it might, for Mr. Roy has spent over twenty years in the business, and the element of chance had little to do with the final outcome.
    Never fully satisfied with the decree of the flipped coin, Mr. Roy remembered during the four years in Reno the many attractions of southern Oregon, and accordingly there will be opened next week in the new Leverette building a modern moving picture theater which will be owned and operated by him.
    The new movie house has a seating capacity of 350 persons, comfortable air cushion seats being installed throughout the auditorium.
    Interior finish of the theater is of terra cotta with gold blend and presents a pleasing appearance with the parchment paper lighting fixtures which were specially designed by a theatrical decorator.
    The rose and gold motif will be carried in the foyer, and axminster carpets over heavy felt will cover the floors, which are arranged for proper elevation.
    An innovation in lighting arrangement permits the use of sufficient illumination during the showing of a film to enable patrons to find their way without difficulty in the auditorium. So-called shadow boxes about the screen are the secret of the new system, the screen itself being in darkness and the high-powered reflector arc lamps of the projecting machines being able to penetrate the light of the auditorium and reach the silver sheet undiffused.
    The projection room is of most modern type and equipment. Inspection by state and city authorities including Chief Roy Elliott of the Medford fire department has shown the "light box" to be thoroughly fireproof.
    Ventilation of the new theater is provided for in summer by forcing fresh air through water where it is cooled and cleansed, and thence into the auditorium. In winter the same equipment will force fresh air through steam radiators and into the show house.
    Installation of "Moviephone" equipment will give a musical interpretation for each phase of the screen action. This device is synchronized with the film and has a pleasing tonal quality, said to be superior to most machines of the kind. The "Moviephone" has proved a sensation in California, where several have been put in operation. The new Medford theater will have the first machine of the kind installed in Oregon.
    According to Mr. Roy the theater will open Friday or Saturday with admission prices fixed at fifteen cents for adults and ten cents for children under twelve years of age. "Adults 15c any seat any time" will be the box-office feature.
    Films will be changed six times a week, a W

    Medford, Ore.—George A. Ray [sic] of San Francisco has leased a unit of the Montgomery Ward Building in which he will open a theater  to  cost  $20,000 .
"New Theaters," The Film Daily, August 6, 1928, page 7
ednesday feature film being held over for the second day's showing on Thursday. A serial picture of sustained suspense will be part of the regular program, beginning with the initial day. The "Mark of the Frog," now being run at the Portland theater, Portland, has been selected for this part of the program. The opening feature film will be a comedy drama starring Viola Dana in "That Certain Thing."
    Mr. and Mrs. Roy intend to make Medford their permanent home, and with their son will each have a part in the operation of the theater.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 2, 1928, page 3

Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1928

    The State Theater, Medford's new moving picture house, will open Saturday at 1 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m., with Viola Dana in the lead of the sparkling comedy "That Certain Thing." The first installment of a serial, "The Mark of the Frog," and a Pathé News reel are also on the opening day's program.
    The feature for Sunday's run brings the charming Patsy Ruth Miller in "Once and Forever," with John Harron in support.
    The new theater, which occupies a portion of the recently constructed Leverette building, is a thoroughly up-to-date and comfortable show house, with air-cushion chairs and other equipment carefully selected by the owner, G. A. Roy, who has had many years experience in the movie business.
    The Moviephone, a recent invention now finding favor with California theater-goers, has been installed for the correct musical interpretation of the film action.
    Mr. Roy has contracted for a highly interesting series of releases, which feature such well-known stars as Hobart Bosworth, Sally O'Neill, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ricardo Cortez, Patsy Ruth Miller, Carmel Myers, George Fawcett, Antonio Moreno and others. The admission prices will follow the house slogan, 10 and 15 cents for any seat, any time.
    Members of the Rotary Club and others have been invited by the State Theater management to witness this evening a special preview of the film "That Something," which was dedicated by the producers to the Rotary clubs of the world.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 7, 1928, page 4

Medford News, September 8, 1928

    With a preview of an entertaining picture program, to which a large number of representative citizens were invited, the new State Theater, in the Leverette block on South Central Avenue, was formally opened last night by G. L. [sic] Roy, manager and lessee.
    Preceding the pictures, Mr. Leverette introduced Mr. Roy, who spoke briefly, saying he had tried to come to Medford four years ago and failing at that time, had gone to Denver, Colo. "I didn't forget Medford, however, and here I am," he added.
    After expressing appreciation to Mr. Leverette and contractor Merritt, Mr. Roy welcomed those present and announced the picture which would be shown, stating that it had been endorsed by the P.T.A., the clergy and by Rotary International. He also gave his audience an idea as to what they might expect in the way of pictures to be shown at the State.
    The feature picture, he explained, had been written by a friend of his, W. W. Woodbridge of Tacoma, Wash., a member of the Tacoma Rotary Club, and dedicated to the Rotary Clubs of the world.
    Emphasizing the value of corrected thought, and its resultant effects in all the walks of life, "That Something" pointed a convincing moral, while being sufficiently entertaining. Short subjects included a comedy, an animated cartoon, and a Tiffany color classic. Musical accompaniment was furnished by the Movietone, which synchronized the picture remarkably well.
    As the audience departed, Mr. and Mrs. Roy took advantage of the opportunity to meet many of Medford's residents. Mr. Roy expects to be in the projection room, he said. Mrs. Roy will act as cashier, while their son, Alfred Roy, will relieve at either position when necessary.
    A large neon sign was installed in front of the theater yesterday, which adds to the appearance of South Central.
Medford News, September 8, 1928, page 2

Medford Mail Tribune, December 30, 1928

The State seems to have struggled in the late 1920s, advertising sporadically and in only one newspaper.
State 1929-10-31MDN
Medford Daily News,
October 31, 1929

The State's last newspaper ad, after which it reopened as the Studio Theater:
Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1932
Medford Mail Tribune, September 21, 1932

Last revised November 19, 2012