One of my saddest moments driving through a small city is when the sight of a now-abandoned classic movie theatre comes into view. Once a destination and even iconic center of a town, now the lights are out, the marquee is blank, and there are few if any people nearby. So that’s why I am so happy to see South Bend’s State theater reviving and repurposing. After attending an Ignite Michiana event at Notre Dame (where presenters do quick energetic presentations about new South Bend initiatives and projects), we were introduced to Drew Elegante, the manager and a major force behind the State’s new activities. A monthly vintage bazaar, weekly classic films, special community parties are just a few of the events recently occurring. Additionally they sponsored a “hula hoop contest” to benefit St. Margaret’s House on during last week’s Downtown First Friday.
The recent and upcoming classic films (Wednesdays at 7pm for just $3) in the month of February have had, of course, a bit of a “romance” theme. This week was Roman Holiday (Audrey Hepburn), and next week they will show Funny Girl (Barbara Streisand).
And of course, as are all of these old movie palaces, the space is a theater too so you can catch new bands and concerts along with the dance parties (note the “Very Bloody Valentine’s Party” benefitting the American Heart Association this Friday night! and a screening of Rocky Horror Picture Show on Saturday night)