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Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center at the State Theatre

The marquee and blade sign of the State Theatre in downtown Auburn illuminates Lincoln Way, the historic street, and once highway, winding from Old Town Auburn through downtown Auburn. – Tony Perterson AJPN Photo

ADA Accessibility Notes

The theatre is ADA accessible.

The historic State Theatre building is centrally located in downtown Auburn. The State Theatre is owned and operated by the local non-profit organization, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (APPAC).


APPAC-produced Cinema at the State, a third Thursday Film Series featuring vintage academy award winning films. On Stage at the State, also produced by APPAC, packs the house for nationally recognized musicians as well as regional performers and local bands. The first ever Auburn Film Festival featured films of Alfred Hitchcock in 2010 and it was a sell-out. With a mission of enhancing economic and cultural development and the prime location of the State Theatre, local theatre companies have made the most by using the theatre for their productions. The Auburn Symphony has created a chamber orchestra in order to play twice annually in the intimate setting.

The local and regional audience base has created a renewed social scene at the historic Lincoln Way location. Local wines are featured at the bar; local restaurants are invited to provide small plates dining before the films. Area restaurants also welcome State Theatre-goers.


At its original opening on December 25, 1930, the Auburn Journal Republican newspaper stated, "The State Theatre stands as a monument to the future progress of Auburn and Placer County." In its day, the theatre seated 1,300 patrons for the enjoyment of movies, Vitaphone acts, and live vaudeville performances. Many members of the Auburn community remember the theatre as their primary source of leisure, entertainment, and as being central to the lives of children. The theatre was closed in the late 1960s, and in 1973 underwent a major remodel into offices. This left a small portion of the original orchestra section as a movie theater, and eliminated the balcony. In the 1980's the movie theater was split into two smaller movie houses.

It was purchased by APPAC in 2006 with the goal of restoring the theatre into a medium sized performing arts center. In 2008, under the supervision of architect Richard Wyatt, the building facade was restored to its1937 likeness, including a neon-lit marquee and vertical blade sign. The City of Auburn, community leaders and the community at large, assisted in this effort. In 2008-09 APPAC refurbished one of the two smaller movie houses, resulting in a 130 seat multi-use theatre. Today, APPAC operates the small venue which offers live music and theatre, and film.

In the first year since its spring 2009 opening, the 130 seat venue attracted more than 5,000 patrons. The excitement at the new theatre is due to the variety of high quality shows and films being offered and its location in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

With the continued goal of rebuilding the historic State Theatre to seat 500 patrons, the small venue now allows audiences to grow and set the stage for the for the future. The original statement by the Auburn Journal Republican newspaper in 1930 still looks true, "The State Theatre stands as a monument to the future progress of Auburn and Placer County."

For a listing of coming events visit


Theatre Office is open 9:00 am - 2:30 pm Tuesday - Friday. Events at the theatre are ongoing.

Seasons Open

Open Year Round


Fees for performances and films range in price.

Nearby Places