The Penn Amusement Company commissioned Thomas W. Lamb, the preeminent theatre architect of the day, to design a “picture palace” for Uniontown. He is best known for his work in the 18th Century Robert Adam’s style of architecture and also for his fine acoustical planning. Construction began in 1921 with art designers from the Ingstrip-Burke Company of Chicago, decorating the interior of the Modern structure in the Adam’s style. The theme was that of “refinement of line and chasteness of ornamentation.” The artist in charge, Michael Tomlin, educated at the School of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, Russia pronounced himself well satisfied “It is better than I hoped it is what I dreamed.”
Hailed as “the largest, finest and most beautiful playhouse in Western Pennsylvania” the State Theatre opened to many accolades on October 30, 1922 showing silent movies and presenting Vaudeville’s finest acts from the B.F. Keith Circuit. The State Symphony Orchestra held forth in the pit with a $40,000.00 Pleubet Master Organ accompanying the silent films to fit the mood. As the Big Band sound emerged, the State hosted some of the country’s greatest musical attractions including Paul Whitman, Glen Gray and the Dorsey Brothers. The popularity of “talkies” signaled the end for in-house musicians and the end of Vaudeville entertainment.