State Theatre and Community Center set to reopen

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- With the opening of the Pablo Center at the Confluence, the State Theatre turned off its lights last July.

Since 1926 the stage, and seats, have been home to some memorable nights in Eau Claire.

But after the theatre closed in 2018, it was uncertain whether it would be used again until now.

"For a lot of people they have really special memories here. They were in a show here, or they went to their first movie here, they went to a show for the holidays. So it carries a lot of significance for a lot of people in Eau Claire," said State Theatre and Community Center CEO Joe Luginbill.

This week, the State Theatre is set to reopen now as the State Theatre and Community Center.

The 40,000 square foot facility will be home to familiar sites, as well as some new ones.

"So really what we're doing is we're taking it into a new chapter so there are some parts in this building that will look like they did in the past. You know having performances here, or community events, or fundraisers. But there are also a lot of new things that will be taking place," said Luginbill.

Those include classroom spaces, office spaces, and more.

The transformation began in February.

"We really couldn't have done this without the work of a lot of volunteers, without the grant that we received in partnership with workforce resource. We couldn't have done it without the donors from anywhere from five dollars on up who have supported us. And a few private foundations and trusts also," said Luginbill.

The time is nearing to light the marquee and for the auditorium to fill back up.

And hopefully create more memories for the next 90 years to come.

The State Theatre and Community Center will have a ribbon cutting this ceremony this Friday starting at 5 p.m.

Following the ribbon cutting there will be a celebration event with the night ending with a film being shown in the auditorium.