Alarms sounded shortly after 6:00 a.m. inside the Auburn, California Theatre this morning with three Auburn Fire Crews responding to find the main Auditorium full of a thick cloud of dust and debris. Located at 985 Lincoln Way in downtown Auburn California, also referred to as The Auburn Placer Performing Center. The Theatre was built in 1930 by T & D Jr. Enterprises, a San Francisco-based theatre management firm. The original theatre, reported to have been built at a cost of roughly $100,000, was designed by J. Lloyd Conrich, a San Francisco-based architect who also designed the Cascade Theater in Redding, the Sierra Theatre in Grass Valley and many others. Originally, the Theatre offered seating for more than 1,300, including seats located on a balcony, reached by the two sets of stairs in the Theatre’s current foyer.
In the late 1990s, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (APPAC) was established as a non-profit organization. APPAC purchased the Theatre property in 2006. Two years later, Project Auburn, under APPAC and the members of the Theatre Restoration Committee, the Auburn Rotary Club, local contractors and generous community supporters, the Theatre’s façade was reconstructed to replicate the original and gifted with a new replica of the original “STATE” blade and marquee.
In 2009 one of the two small movie theatres was transformed into a 130-seat performing arts venue. Three years later, a $200,000 roof was installed and APPAC launched the “Tear Down the Wall Bring Up the Arts” campaign. By 2014 the Theatre reopened as the single-room, 350-seat theatre you see today and in 2019 officially began operating as Auburn State Theatre.
More information and photos of the Auburn State Theatre and complete history is available at www.auburnstatetheatre.org. Additional information about what the next step by the owners will be is expected to be released in a few hours.