The ill-fated State Theater and Civic Center

Above is a picture that appeared in the Vindicator of people waiting to get into a Donnie Iris show on May 20, 1983 at the State Theatre and Civic Center (formerly the Agora and Tomorrow Club). It was the first show for the newly renamed venue which jettisoned its links to the night club days in a return to a style closer to that of when it was a movie house. Nick Behanna, a Warren businessman, leased the theater at the time and had plans to bring it back to its former grandeur. There was even a mention of refurbishing the projectors and showing classic movies.

I’m not sure how many events actually went off at the venue because the advertising was spotty to non-existent. Here’s a few I stumbled across:

  • May 20, Donnie Iris, Sojourn
  • May 27, Unknown Stranger, Prinzor, Poltergeist
  • May 28, Temptations Reunion Tour
  • May 29, Boxing matches
  • June 3, Modern English, Norm Nardi and The Tigers
  • June 11, Human Beinz, Poltergeist
  • July 14, Todd Rundgren, Utopia
  • July 23, Ramones (not sure if it happened)

On June 29, a boxing show was scheduled to be held at the venue, but it was abruptly canceled right before showtime in embarrassing fashion. It would seem sometime in mid-July the State Theatre and Civic Center experiment was over.

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