The State Theatre in Ithaca is known for being one of the best area venues to see big names in music and entertainment. I often scour their events for anything that might get UrbanCorning readers to visit (see Band of Horses, Philip Glass, and B.B. King). When I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark on their website earlier this month, I did a double-take. Sorry to nerd out, but I’ve always wanted to see Raiders on the big screen.
The State was once a movie theater. In fact, according to another article, a broken 35mm projector still sits in the booth with Night of the Living Dead in its reels. Recently, The State Theatre acquired a grant to help fund the purchase of a new digital projector. Rather than show new releases, they are using it to show awesome movies that awesome people want to see on the big screen… and it’s very affordable.
The lineup right now consists of The Shining, The Big Lebowski, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Since Raiders broke an attendance record, they announced a plan to show Temple of Doom, and The Last Crusade as well! At $6 it’s very affordable ($5 for students) for a great night out.
It would be hard to replicate what The State Theatre is doing. The experience is just… very Ithacan… if that’s a thing. I knew the size of the theater going in, and the first thing that struck me was how packed it was for this event. Secondly, the audience reactions were authentic and fun, without being annoying. Most of us know these movies, so a little extra clapping / whistling when Indiana shows up to save the day is expected… and not holding back a laugh at a corny joke is a regular occurrence. Seeing a movie at The State feels like a good time with a very big group of friends.