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State Theatre: backstage

703 S. Broadway Los Angeles, CA 90014  | map |

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | backstage | basement cafeteria |


The view toward stage left. We're behind the church's set. Almost everything is boxed in with white painted drywall enclosures. That's the back wall at the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014


Stage depth: 28'

Flyfloor: Stage left

Counterweight system: Armstrong-Power, operated stage right at at stage level. The assumption is that this was a hemp house originally.

A December 3, 1921 article in Exhibitors Trade Review mentioned the technical wonders of the State: "The stage curtain weighs 1100 lb., and is made of velour. Special scene shifting apparatus makes it possible by means of pulleys to whisk the medallions from the stage floor in a few seconds. The stage can be changed from three to fifty feet in size instantly." Thanks to Cezar Del Valle for the research. He has excerpts from the article in a Theatre Talks blog post.

Original screen size: "The new Loew [sic] State Theatre, which opened in Los Angeles Nov. 12 has a screen 24 by 44 1/2 feet. It is twice the size of any other screen in use in that city and pictures are furnished for it by what is said to be the largest projection booth in the world." Source: Exhibitors Trade Review - December 3, 1921 

Dimmerboard: Downstage right 

Loading: There's a door out to the alley stage left. 

Pipe Organ: The December 3, 1921 Exhibitors Trade Review article noted: "A six-manual Moller organ, costing $50,000, and an orchestra leader with twenty-five pieces furnishes the music." Other sources more realistically say the organ installed in 1921 was a 3/18 Moller and the cost was $9,000.



The downstage left stairs up to the dressing rooms. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014 



A look up toward the stage left flyfloor. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Offstage right. Above the white wall we see some of the T-wall for the counterweight system. It appears to be an Armstrong-Power installation. The dimmerboard, also walled off, is around the corner to the left. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



Downstage right rigging and stairs. The white stuff is some of the church's set and the drywall preventing access to anything interesting. At the right is the downstage edge of the counterweight system T-wall. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014



The exit passageway stage right. We're looking north along the east side of the auditorium from backstage. This area has the look of an open air passageway between the theatre and office building that later got roofed over. Photo: Bill Counter - 2014

The State Theatre pages: history | vintage exterior views | recent exterior views | ticket lobby | lobbies and lounges | vintage auditorium views | recent auditorium views | projection booth | back to top - backstage | basement cafeteria |

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