Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center
Since its inception in 1930, the State Theatre has had deep roots in the community. After numerous renovations and conceptual changes, the building now stands as a state-of-the-art venue in Downtown Auburn that hosts a myriad of performances. This year, the refurbished theatre will have seen over 49,000 patrons, including civic groups, businesses and organizations that rent the space for events. The nonprofit, Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center (APPAC) owns and operates this historic site and has almost 40 volunteers, including a board of directors who serve around 7,000 hours each year. “It’s our mission to enhance the quality of life and cultural awareness of our community by providing performing arts, film and educational experiences,” shares Executive Director Janis Wikoff.
HLB: Are there any interesting tidbits about the State Theatre?
JW: The interior includes drawings on the ceiling and throughout the building that were sketched by William Chavalas—a graduate of the Athens School of Fine Arts—and then transferred. He rented Kenison’s Hall in Auburn to have a large wall on which to stretch the transfer paper. The “neoclassical” design includes details that come from ancient Greek vases, [and features colors like] blue, light yellow and red, interwoven with greens, silver and gold.
HLB: What are the theatre’s best attributes?
JW: The State Theatre is a great place to see a movie and a concert, or enjoy comedy or a play. The venue is comfortable and has great sight lines and acoustics. Auburn is [a short] drive from Sacramento and many other towns in our region, and there are good restaurants and places to enjoy a drink before or after the show. [The theatre also has a] wonderful concessions stand that serves local wine, craft beer, organic popcorn, local bakery treats and other movie snack favorites.
HLB: What areas do you hope to grow?
JW: I’d like to have a strong lecture series on a regular basis and also expand our children’s programming.
HLB: What’s some advice you’ve been given, in terms of business?
JW: Keep bringing high-quality entertainment and entertainers; keep bringing audiences to Auburn from the overall region; and expand the reach of the theatre over time [by] diversifying entertainment to build a strong returning audience.
HLB: How can someone get involved?
JW: Donating to APPAC to support the operations and ongoing restoration is easy. We have an annual State Theatre Marquee Membership program that covers many of the hard costs of running the theatre. We also participate in Big Day of Giving (this year on May 4), which is an easy way to support us online. APPAC has several levels of sponsorship that support Cinema at the State and On Stage at the State, and we’re always looking for businesses interested in becoming season sponsors.
By Heather L. Becker // Group Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group. Exteior photo by the State Theatre
ON STAGE THIS MONTH…
Thru April 2. Sister Act—The Musical. Presented by the State Theatre Acting Company, a feel-good musical comedy smash based on the hit 1992 film that has audiences jumping to their feet.
April 6. Hidden Figures. An Oscar-nominated film that tells the incredible, untold tale of three brilliant African-American women working at NASA—the brains behind launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit.
April 22. The Floyd. A family-friendly, multimedia concert that pays tribute to the sounds, sights and emotions of one of the greatest rock-and-roll bands in history: Pink Floyd.
April 27. Alan Reid and Rob van Sante. A lively show rooted in the music of Scotland, featuring seamless harmonies underpinned by sensitive arrangements on piano, guitar and accordion—all topped by an engaging delivery peppered with dry humor and pithy anecdotes.