State Theatre, Falls Church
Falls Church, Virginia
Constructed in 1935, the State Theatre is an excellent example of the Art Deco style of architecture popular in the 1920s and 30s for public/social buildings. Operating as a movie theatre, the venue was a staple to the Falls Church, Virginia community until it closed its doors in 1988. As the only cinema in the city, the theatre was significant for both its social history in the community and its listing as a local landmark.
Ten years after the cinema shut down, Martinez+Johnson was commissioned by Timeless Entertainment to renovate and convert its primary use from a film house to a fully-functioning venue for live entertainment.
The project’s scope of work included over-building the raked floor as terraces for table seating while the balcony retained theatre seating with restored seats. New mechanical, electrical, and fire/life safety systems were stablished. Updated stage lighting, audio and visual projection systems, and soundboard control areas were added to enable a wide variety of live performances.
The front of the theatre was rebuilt to accommodate an entrance restored to the original 1930s center from a 1950s renovation which moved the access to the side. A new theatre marquee and new ticket booth, replicas of the originals, were installed. A significant addition was constructed to the side of the building housing a kitchen, increased restroom facilities, and theatre offices. At the read, a second addition was erected over the stagehouse for musicans’ rooms and a direct stage connection.