State Theatre

State Theatre
(now “On Stage” Theater)
515 Cumberland Street
Lebanon, Pennsylvania


I accidentally stumbled upon the former “State Theater” in Lebanon, Pennsylvania this afternoon while out snagging some other “wonders”.

The State Theater opened in the mid-to-late 1940s and presented first-run movies for several decades. Like many classic theaters, it eventually wasn’t able to compete with the new breed of multiplexes that sprang to life during in the 70s. It became a “porno palace” for a period of time until vhs tape rentals made that type of theater a dying breed as well. You can see a photo of The State Theater during it’s XXX era here. Apparently Tina Russell, the name featured on the marquee in that photo, was a popular adult film star at the time.

After its XXX days, it was briefly a music venue and dinner theater (changing its name to “On Stage Cafe”). The venue is currently owned by Cornerstone Christian Fellowship and it hosts Sunday services. In recent years it has also hosted Alone in a Crowd (a collective of musicians, poets, and artists) during Lebanon’s First Friday Art Walks.


–  Cornerstone Christian Fellowship

–  Alone in a Crowd

–  Tina Russell biography at “Find-A-Grave”

4 thoughts on “State Theatre

  1. Another great find Wendy! We also had a State Theatre here in Newark, DE that went thru steps 1 and 2 of the cycle you noted before it went under and was demolished. It was a grand neo-classical with a humongous (by today’s standards) screen and large balcony.

      1. Awesome! I worked at that drive-in the summer of ’78 (I think). I recall that I saw Grease about 75 times! My job was to prevent people sneaking in for free (remember the custom van phase?), to repair speakers, cut grass, and clean up the next morning (not pretty). Yes, it’s a car dealership now.

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