State Theatre in Zumbrota: A Local Treasure

By Ronica Roberson

Designed by architect and Zumbrota native Charles L. Grover, the State Theatre in Zumbrota was built in 1921 for a cost of $38,000. Built as a vaudeville house, the Theatre featured radio shows, plays and silent movies. By 1929, when the talkies came into use, the Theatre was used mostly for movies. The State Theatre has been continuously operating as a theater for 100 years. The community of Zumbrota is very proud of their local theater as evidenced by the abundance of willing volunteers who run the Theatre, which has been not-for-profit since the Zumbrota Area Arts Council purchased it 10 years ago. The Theatre seats 270 and offers live performances, concerts, movies and more. An addition to the Theatre, completed about three years ago, included a lobby and concessions area and updated handicap accessible bathrooms.

The community of Zumbrota boasts a beautiful historic downtown with plenty of shopping, dining and cultural experiences for visitors to enjoy. Crossings at Carnegie, an art space featuring an art gallery, gift shop and clay studio, is located just behind the Theatre.

One block to the west of the Theatre is the historic downtown and just north of that is the historic covered bridge.

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