Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Missing Hamilton Architecture: The State Theatre

There are many buildings in Hamilton that have disappeared completely, and some that are still standing. The State Theatre is truely neither. When built on the corner of London Street and Victoria Street in 1932 the theatre appeared similar to the below photo (taken in 1939).

State Theatre Hamilton 1939
The theatre operated until 1964, at which time it was reopened as the Carlton and continued to trade until the opening of Village cinemas in Centreplace, which ultimately spelled doom for the State Theatre, as well as other theatres like the Embassy and the Regent.

The building would be tennanted by the Fountain City Church, until it was purchased in 2001 by Bayleys Real Estate, who, initially where going to demolish they building. Truth be told, they may as well have, there is not a lot left of it. The building was kept as it turned out to be one of the regions first reinforced concrete buildings, but for the most part, was gutted and stripped of it's architectural features, as my following photos show.

Ex State Theatre Hamilton 2011 - Bayleys Building

The original concrete panels are visible on the London Street facade

Only minor details of the State Theatre survive

The only significant detail of the orginal facade of the State Theatre.

State Theatre, next to it's modern counterpart, the Victoria Cinema
It's really sad that the State Theatre did not survive the last decade, while an independent cinema, the Victoria Cinema has started in a much less appropriate building next door.

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