Yesterday I groused aloud about the hyper-competitive Home-Peeping Industrial Complex, a self-dubbed term for the local media scramble to cover eye-popping property listings. Remarkably, the state's most expensive home flew mostly under the radar until we covered it yesterday, and, earlier this week, the freaking New York Post scooped everybody in town on this gorgeous '30s movie theater in Hutchinson, Minnesota.
Even today, the 86-year-old State Theatre radiates Old Hollywood magic—from the glowing art-deco façade to the pink lobby to the elegant main theater. In total, the 12,454-square-foot building boasts a three-screen moviehouse, four one-bedroom apartments up top, and store frontage that's currently rented out as a hair salon. The 2.9-acre parcel at 35 Washington Ave. can be yours for a cool $1 million. (Hutchinson, population 14,590, is located about an hour west of Minneapolis.)
“The sellers bought it years ago when it was in really rough shape,” Jenna Vikse of Jane Vikse Real Estate tells The Post. “He said there was a hole in the ceiling the size of a Volkswagen. They re-did the entire building and built apartments above the one smaller theater and above the lobby. It has three screens in it and the best popcorn around."
Another throwback element: Tickets remain $5 for matinees and $6.50 for evening showings.
The State was built in 1937 by Minneapolis-based architecture firm Liebenberg & Kaplan, according to the wonderful old-school theater historians at Cinema Treasures. You're probably familiar with L&K's Twin Cities works: The Varsity, the Riverview, the long-dormant Hollywood, and the under-construction Uptown. (University of Minnesota Press has a nice recap of Jack Liebenberg's life and work here.)
In December of '37, Hutchinson's 690-seat State celebrated its grand openings with 35-cent tickets to True Confession, starring Carole Lombard, Fred MacMurray, and John Barrymore. Second and third screens would be added in the '70s and '80s, though the theater shut down in 2001; Saving Silverman—which almost certainly doesn't hold up yet I have fond childhood memories of—was among the final screenings. Following extensive renovations, owners Miles “Red” and Linda McMonagle brought the biz back to life in 2005.
“It’s a pretty amazing thing,” Red told the Hutchinson Leader in 2012. "We love the building. It came out better than we thought... It’s been everything and more.”
Enjoy this photo tour, courtesy of Jane Vikse Real Estate: