State Theatre getting third floor renovation thanks to $50,000 grant – Argus Leader

The State Theatre will soon begin its third floor renovation project thanks to a grant from the Mary Chilton Daughters of the American Revolution Foundation.
The historic State Theatre at 316 S. Phillips Avenue has been a fixture in downtown Sioux Falls since it opened in 1926, but it closed in 1990. 
Nearly three decades and several attempts to renovate later, the State Theatre reopened to the public in 2020 after a gift from T. Denny Sanford and the City of Sioux Falls made it possible to renovate the main part of the auditorium and lobby. 
Now, the State Theatre will restore the third floor, which will feature an event space.
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The Mary Chilton DAR recently awarded the $50,000 Dorothy Day Davenport Award to the theater to help move along its restoration project.
Dorothy Day Davenport was a founding member of the local DAR chapter in 1915. Since 1987, the Mary Chilton DAR Foundation has made over 500 grant awards totaling in excess of $3 million.
“Dorothy Day Davenport was a woman of great vision and had a love of her hometown of Sioux Falls,” said chapter regent Judy Goetz in a press release. “We are excited to be able to honor her legacy by supporting the State Theatre as it continues to be restored.”
“The DAR has always been a very supportive organization here in Sioux Falls,” said Allison Weiland, executive director of the State Theatre. “They’ve been so amazing to work with, and they understand the importance of getting these historic places restored. Funding to start the third floor is a huge game changer for us.”
The 990-square-foot space was once the theater manager’s apartment. Soon it will become a unique, multi-use rental area and micro theater for private events, corporate meetings, and the likes, Weiland said.
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“It’s really an incredible space, and most people don’t know about it. We’re starting with the basic renovations, but then we have so many ideas for the space,” she said.
The State Theatre had an elevator installed in 2019 to get it ready for public access. 
The grant will help fund basic renovations like restoring the original terrazzo floor, repairing the original tile ceiling, fixing electrical issues and updating the heating and cooling systems.
The walls will eventually feature black curtains to block out the light, and comfortable seating for 20-30 people, which can be easily rearranged to fit the needs of the event. Weiland said they’d also like to put in a wet bar and mini concessions area, and a bathroom.
“If people want to come watch a parade, or if they want to eat after a movie to discuss something, or even if they just want to have a small gathering space downtown—which people are looking for—this will be a great spot for them, and it’ll support the State Theatre at the same time,” Weiland said.
It will take a bit more funding before it’s finished, Weiland said, and they don’t yet have a timeline for completion.
“But we have so much more to look forward to in the future. There’s still a lot of work to be done for our restoration project,” Weiland said.
The next steps for the project include tackling the second floor, working on the balcony and office space, as well as the basement, which has dressing rooms and storage space. Weiland also talked about adding enhancements to the main stage.
“It’s just so exciting that we get to keep on doing renovation and get the spaces open to the public,” Weiland said. 
People can find more about the State Theatre or see what movies are playing on the website


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