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Memories of the State

historic State Theatre pics 043In 2002, while celebrating the 80th Anniversary, we asked for the community to submit their favorite memories of the State Theatre. Here are a few of those submissions. If you would like to share a memory or funny story contact us at

My father, C. H. Gorley, Sr. along with Bob Boughner, Con. McClosky and Frank Mertz formed the Penn-State Amusement Company and operated the Penn Theatre, Penn Bowling Alley, the Capitol Theatre, the State Theatre and The State Pool Hall and Bowling Alley, The State Theatre was the jewel in the crown of Main Street.

Submitted by: C.H. Gorley, Jr.

The Christmas season was always memorable at the State. After the Christmas parade the State Theatre and the Penn Theatre were opened and featured special programs just for children. This gave parents a chance to complete their Chirstmas shopping.

Submitted by: C.H. Gorley, Jr.


The State Theatre Center for the Arts holds a special place in my heart. As a child I eagerly waited for the summer movie season. The screen seemed so immense, heightened, I’m sure, by my childhood perceptions. On this screen I saw some of the greatest epics of all time! The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind and Dr. Zhivago, just to name a few! Before the movie I always stopped at G.C. Murphy’s to purchase some candy. Lifesavors were always on my list! Back then you could get three packs for a dime. Across the street from the Theatre a quarter would buy you a hamburger. To this day I don’t think I’ve had a tastier burger!

Submitted by: Charlene Smochinsky, Season Subscriber


 In the late eighties when the Greater Uniontown Heritage Consortium was in the process of preparing the Theatre for the Premier Opening Night of the State Theatre Center for the Arts, we had student groups helping us clean the Theatre. As we layed on the floor, scrubbing and removing 50 years of chewing gum from the seats (on all three levels), someone stated to sing, soon everyone was singing! What a wonderful moment we all shared.

Submitted by: Olene Stuart, former Greater Uniontow Heritage Consortium Board Member


The all-day movies on Saturday were a delight for me & my sister! Mom would take us to Martin’s Deli, buy us a sandwich and take us to the State were we stayed for the day.

Submitted by: Filomena Glad


In the late 1940’s a new state of the art Motigraf Projector were purchased for the State. After replacing the gear boxes for the third time, Motigraf redisigned the projector to accomodate the steep projection angle of the State Theatre. Delivering the heavy film cans to the projection room, 110 steps and a ladder, was no easy feat.

Submitted by: C.H. Gorley, Jr.


historic State Theatre pics 035I met my husband, Jerome L. Glad in front of the theatre in 1957. Our first date was a movie at the State! Jerome was emplyed at the State Theatre from 1950-1952. He was an usher and changed the marquee. Jerome passed away in 1997 and I named a seat in his memory at the Theatre.

Submitted by: Filomena Glad


While selling tickets in the box office, I received a call from an older gentleman who adamantly requested two specific seats. I held my breath and checked the tickets … they were available! I just had to ask why. He told me that it was while sitting in those seats that he first kissed his wife.

Submitted by: Olene Stuart, former Greater Uniontown Heritage Consortium Board Member


 By far my most humorous memory at the Theatre was the day my Aunt Tess was visiting from New York City and took me, my sister and my two cousins to the movies. The feature was Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum”, how we all loved horror movies back then. My Aunt paid for the tickets, sent us inside and promptly left to run errands with the instruction that she’d be back in two hours to pick us up and “under no circumstances were we to be anywhere else except in the front of the Theatre’s Box Office”. After the world news and cartoons, my cousin said he was hot and needed some fresh air before the movie started. Without a moments hesitation we followed him like lambs being led to the slaughter. Unfortunately, my Aunt had the ticket stubs in her purse so we had no proof that we had paid. Dutifully listening to her instructions we stayed by the box office for two hours and missed the movie!

Submitted by Charlene Smochinsky, Season Subscriber


The State Theatre missed being the second theatre in the United Staes to be equped wit sound by seven days. Being third in the nation is still quite impressive. The State Theatre was always state of the art.

Submitted by: C.H. Gorley, Jr.



historic State Theatre pics 036My father, the late Amadee Gismondi was one of the painters hired to do the lobby ceiling, Gold leaf was his specialty.

Submitted by: Filomena Glad


I was employed at the State from 1935 to 1941 and from 1946 to 1956. First as an Usher, then House Manager. I was then promoted to Manager of the Bowling Alley and Pool Hall and then finally I was made Director. Though my Father owned the State Theatre I was expected to start from the ground floor.

Submitted by: C.H. Gorley

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