The State Theatre building has been listed for sale online at $1.9 million. There’s no need to panic for music fans though; for now it’s business as usual. It will still operate as a venue in the meantime with plenty of shows scheduled well into summer.
Betty Who. Photo by Ysa Taylor
Recent upgrades to the State Theatre, including a retro facade harkening back to its movie house beginnings, were meant to reinvent the venue and help sell it to national booking agents and local groups. As it turns out, State is now undergoing a completely different kind of sale. Many in the local music community hope these improvements only solidify its permanent existence as a venue, whoever the buyer may be.
The 600 block of Central Avenue wasn’t always a popular destination, but venues like the State Theatre helped give it and the rest of downtown life during down times. Across the street, the Local 662 has already closed to give way to a restaurant. While the property between the two gets taken up, Daddy Kool and Fubar still remain.
Rising rents have been the biggest complaints of the business owners that helped make this section of downtown an enclave for hip, alternative artists and boutique shops. With the arrival of the Chihuly Collection and a Publix, the values were bound to rocket even higher and the demand from even more developers is already there.
There’s been a lot of discussions, including in the recent mayoral race, about historic designations and independent corridors to help parts of Central Avenue and Beach Drive maintain their local and small business appeal. Ultimately, dialogue has been walked back and nothing has yet to be done.
Image via WikiCommons