George A. Roy of San Francisco came to Medford in the summer of 1928 and leased part of the Montgomery Ward building for his new State theater, at a reported cost of $20,000 (1). An article in the local Medford Daily News indicated that the theater would have 400 seats "modern type of upholstered chairs" to ensure the comfort of audience members (2).
Mr. Roy was especially proud of installing a "Moviephone" system for providing synchronized musical accompaniment to silent movies. According to an article in the Medford Mail-Tribune, "Installation of "Moviephone" equipment will give a musical interpretation for each phase of the screen action. This device is synchronized with the film and has a pleasing tonal quality, said to be superior to most machines of the kind. The "Moviephone" has proved a sensation in California, where several have been put in operation. The new Medford theater will have the first machine of the kind installed in Oregon (3).
The State theater featured two-hour programs that were provided regularly throughout the week and included six changes weekly, with “a Wednesday feature film being held over for the second day’s showing on Thursday” so that Thursdays were the only days in which no new programs were offered. The shows presented by the theater ran from 1 o’clock in the afternoon until 11 o’clock at night. Admission for adults was 15 cents while children, under the age of twelve years old, were allowed in for 10 cents (4).
Compared to the Rialto and Craterian theaters under the management of George A. Hunt, the promotion for the State theater seems quite small and measly. While those theaters under the management of George A. Hunt are flashy and published on multiple pages in the daily paper, the promotion for the State theater is often times overlooked because they are so small. Some of the advertisements seem almost like postage stamps in the corner of Medford Mail Tribune, the local newspaper. The State theater keeps its promotional advertisements sweet, simple, and uniform by only utilizing the theater’s name and location (“South Central Near Eighth”) as a commonality throughout its advertisements. The theater rarely, if ever, uses illustrations or photographs for their advertisements and usually just list the feature films in the program for each night. The theater seemed to struggle throughout its four-year run due to the fact that the theater advertised sporadically and often taking up very little advertisement space within the newspaper page.
The State closed in 1932 to make way for the Studio theater.