State Cinema, a Stamford mainstay for nine decades, is closing after the Labor Day weekend, according to owner Garden Homes Management.
Garden Homes President Richard Freedman said that poor attendance left the company – which also owns the Garden Cinemas Norwalk and Empire Cinemas in Brewster, New York – no choice but to shutter the State.
“We have always operated the State Cinema as a community asset, and the decision to close was a difficult one that we avoided for as long as possible,” Freedman said. “It has always been difficult for small cinemas to compete against multiplexes, and the larger trend of falling attendance has affected the State sharply.”
The theater, located at 990 Hope St., began life in the 1920s as a vaudeville house. Garden Homes took possession of it in 1976 and invested nearly $1 million into renovations and improvements over the years.
The building also includes 14 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments.
Garden Homes is now accepting proposals from both for-profit and nonprofit organizations for the future use of the cinema space. Freedman said it will only entertain proposals “that maintain the historic integrity of the main auditorium, although continued operation of movie exhibition is not required.”