Downtown Auburn’s Old State Theater to close, move Dec. 20

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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The Old State Theater, a haven for art-house films in Downtown Auburn, will close its doors Dec. 20 as an art deco movie house it has called home since opening in mid-2004. Owner Theresa Cote said Friday that she has decided to move to a new location to let building owner the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center non-profit move forward with plans to modify the Lincoln Way theater for live performances. Cote, who has copyrighted the Old State Theater name, said she is looking for a building in the Auburn area with about 3,400 square feet of floor space and good parking access to re-establish her movie business. She owns the projection equipment and screens at the theater. Cote’s Old State Theater has screened films that have edgier content and more literate plots than movies playing at most multiplexes. She’s augmented the experience with specially made soft drinks and popcorn that can be spiced with an array of flavored salts. There’s even a couch at the back of the screening rooms for more relaxed viewing. Cote ran into financial shortfalls this past year and patrons came to her aid to keep the films rolling. APPAC bought the theater building three years ago with the intention of raising funds to eventually turn it into a medium-sized performing arts venue. The APPAC board never closed the door on continued use as a movie house and Cote said Friday that she and the group had come to a mutual agreement that it was time for a move to a new location. “Old State Theater must make way for their progress in transforming the State Theater building to a performing arts center,” Cote said in a letter to theater patrons. “Although we will miss our old, funky ‘digs,’ we are looking forward to establishing the movie theater in a permanent location.” Cote said she’s dedicated to ensuring the Old State Theater remains Auburn’s “little community theater” and will continue with the help and encouragement of theater-goers who have been so supportive over the past four years. “It’s been a labor of love,” Cote said. “It’s important for a community to have a hometown theater that adds to the local culture.” APPAC President Paul Ogden couldn’t be reached for comment Friday. The decision to move comes weeks after the closure of another local, independent movie theater - the Colfax Theater. It's being converted into venue for live performances. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached at