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London, OH: London State Theatre Closes

Posted on Friday, February 15th, 2013 and updated on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 3:32 PM

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The London State Theatre in London, Ohio has closed. The last time we received showtimes for the theater was on January 18, 2013, but a posting on their Facebook page on February 7th makes it seem as though the theater was open a little longer:

For 76 years, the London State Theatre has provided London with quality entertainment. Beginning with Earth Worm Tractors and most recently with Django Unchained, the State has given London a reason to stay in town and enjoy themselves, keeping business local. However, even a recent remodel to bring back a lot of the glory of the old State Theatre, was not enough to keep it from falling behind the times.

It is with a sad heart that we at the London State Theatre announce the eventual closing of the Theatre. The dismal state of our economy has made required digital upgrades, necessary for the projection of newer movies, all but impossible. The digital conversion, is in fact, killing small theaters across the country. If you're wondering what the "digital conversion" is, it's the decision of the film industry to stop distributing 35mm movies due to lack of availability. The cinema means everything to us here, and to not be able to provide London with the latest releases, pains us. A lot of these releases could even be seen on opening night, which is something that a lot of smaller theaters have problems providing.

This decision has been weighing on us since the announcement of the mandatory conversion. The hope was that something could be done, or a way around it could be found. It was as sad inevitability though, and there's no way we could make the conversion. We wish there was a different outcome to this. Serving the community has been an absolute joy to us. We felt good about giving the youth a safe place to meet. To give parents a place they were happy to take their children to. To be able to provide adults a cinema experience on par with a lot of big city theaters. All of this just makes the decision harder on us, however, as we carry on to close the doors.

This isn't to say, we won't have any services to provide. While it pains us that we can't bring you newer movies anymore, we will still have the capability of projecting pre digital movies. Which means that we can still provide a space for private parties. We will also, from time to time, open up for a couple weeks at a time, for a special showing of our choice. Like we said, we love the cinema, and if we wanted to watch a print of Evil Dead, or Wizard of Oz, or anything in between, we are going to want to share that with our city. We'll open up the doors just like nothing happened, and welcome you all in to watch the movies with us.

The last showtimes we could find anywhere for the theater were for January 20, 2013, so we're going to go with that as the actual closing date. According to their Facebook page, they showed first-run movies as well as cult movies and classics.

The photos that they had on their web site of the renovations that were done look impressive, so it's unfortunate that a theater with some character couldn't keep going. Moviegoers in the area do have other choices, but none probably had the character of the one that just closed. There are a total of seven theaters within 20 miles of London, including the Starplex Cinemas - Westpointe Movies and Regal Georgesville Square 16 in Columbus.

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Oct 20, 2015 - BigScreen Reader  

The London State Theater reopened under new ownership in July 2015 after a crowd-funding campaign helped raise the necessary funds to acquire a digital projection system for the theater. The new owners have only improved what was already a beautifully restored theater with an expanded menu that includes wine and beer, an upgraded sound system and larger screen. It is a gem of a theater and London is lucky to have the State! 

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