We can almost smell the popcorn!
Ely's Historic State Theater is a cultural hub of film, arts, entertainment and learning that cultivates a vibrant, healthy community. Our mission is to promote and support the cinematic and performing arts at Ely’s Historic State Theater.
Support Our Equipment Fundraiser
Be part of the history of Ely's State Theater with an engraved silver nameplate on a theater seat!
Donate $400 (or more), and a silver nameplate will be engraved with the text of your choice!
(3 lines or less, 12 characters per line. 36 total including punctuation and spaces.)
Please make your donation payable to Ely's Historic State Theater (EHST), and mail with the printed form to:
Ely's Historic State Theater
PO Box 34
Ely, MN 55731
About the Seat Restoration
The original cast iron “end standards” are being refinished with new theater seat parts made to fit them. This work is by Irwin Seating Company, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Their website boasts, "For more than a century Irwin Seating Company has designed and manufactured theatre seating for some of the world's most prestigious venues. We have provided seating for 33 of 35 theatres in New York's famed broadway theatre district and have millions of seats in service off-broadway as well!" Closer to home, Irwin Seating Company created and installed all of the seats for the Viking's US Bank Stadium.
If you wish to donate online via paypal, be sure to mail in a form or download and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. EHST is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.
Attention Turns Outfit Venue with Quality Equipment
In 2015, an effort to place the State Theater on the National Register of Historic Places was successful. Over the next few years, the State Theater and the adjacent Salerno building underwent an extensive exterior renovation including most notably new roofs, tuck-pointing and limestone replacement, updated HVAC, new electrical and new plumbing systems.
In June 2019, the new acoustical ceiling and house lighting projects were completed. Throughout this past summer and fall, the rest of the finishes were completed - the wall fabric, polished concrete auditorium floors, bathroom tile, carpet and light fixtures and all the rest! The focus is now on fundraising for high quality cinema and live event equipment while continuing the renovation in the adjacent building where the second screening room and future home of the concessions will be!
Ely's Show Place
The State Theater was built in 1936 by the Swanson family in Ely. Its designer was a noted architecture firm called Liebenberg & Kaplan, who had designed many theaters in Minnesota and other northern states. In 2008, the recession caused the State Theater to close its doors to the public. By 2014, The State Theater had fallen into disrepair and was purchased by Alley A Realty. They are a family business that specializes in historic preservation and redevelopment. Alley A Realty is working with the State of Minnesota and the U.S. Department of Interior to restore the exterior and interior to its original condition.
July 30th, 2016
Thanks to all who came out to experience the relighting of Ely's Historic State Theater Marquee! Highlights of the evening included the smell of freshly popped popcorn, a special appearance by the Ely Timberwolf, writing memories of past times had at the theater, and many, many smiling faces!