The downtown State Theatre does it right. And that's not a statement about integrity, or ethics, or anything like that. It's as basic a concept a small venue can have: showcase great artists, new films, and old classics. Give the community something interesting and diverse every day—and the State does that.
How awesome is it that a small 500-seat downtown theatre can put on acts like Taj Mahal, Third Eye Blind, Pete Yorn, Steve Earle, and They Might Be Giants, but also offer foreign films, theatrical classics, and cartoons on Saturday mornings?
This is the definition of a community theater. It's a great venue that puts on quality shows at decent prices, and it's the folks of State College that benefit the most. There's literally something for everyone.
The theater is a key piece to downtown. It fits. The Bryce Jordan Center can only put on artists of a pretty ubiquitous popularity. Places like the HUB or the bars are limited to cover bands and student favorites. But the State Theatre can bring in a variety of acts from all genres, for all ages, and at all times of the year.
It's been a great opportunity to see Josh Ritter and Taj Mahal in concert and many independent films—experiences that would have never happened without the theater. With the downfall of the Cell Block (formerly the Crowbar), there are no places for these semi-popular or aging acts to appear.
During the holiday season, we often recognize the things that we are thankful for. Looking back at all the great shows I've seen at the State, and some upcoming ones like Minus the Bear and Brandi Carlile, I am thankful for the State Theatre. It's a great place that should be supported, as it's an important asset that makes State College unique.