The State Theatre, an Art Deco gem, opened its doors as the area's most beautifully appointed movie house on October 27th, 1939. The local paper immediately praised it as "one of the most strikingly beautiful building fronts of the modern day" and prompted one patron to ask "Is this really a Shelby playhouse?"

The State was a typically popular and romanticized small town movie theatre, but in its later years (as The Flick) it encountered the same challenges that befell literally thousands of such film houses. Retail anchor stores moved to the malls along the highway... downtowns dried up and sometimes blew away... cable TV became a more and more dominant force in our lives... you know the story, you've seen it happen all over the country.


But thanks to a dedicated team of passionate volunteers, a group called Destination Cleveland County was formed just a few years ago and it's thanks to them that this old movie house is coming back to life after having been dark for almost three decades. In this effort the support and faith and vision of the City of Shelby cannot be exaggerated. Sounds like public relations puffery but in this case it's absolutely true.


Reborn as the Don Gibson Theatre, our 400 seat venue will act primarily as a very intimate concert hall. We're going to bring you the best in touring nationally known acts, musicians who've graced magazine covers, who've earned Grammy Awards and Gold Albums and "Best of the Year" Awards... people whose CD's (and albums) you may already have in your collection. We'll also very carefully select the newest up-and-coming acts out of Nashville and New York and Austin, acts you may not have heard of yet... but given a chance you will be talking about for months after.

Jazz, Country, Blues, Comedy, Rock and Roll, Bluegrass, vintage film series and everything in between. You'll see it all at the Don Gibson Theatre.

And we're going to offer a website that's a little different. We're going to do more than just list upcoming shows and sell you tickets. We're going to feature a column every few weeks that tells you about our successes and our challenges, interesting backstage stories and an ongoing update on what direction we're headed.


You'll have an email address to send your thoughts and your questions directly to theatre management... and eventually you'll even be able to go online and review shows that you've just attended. We'll post them, and we'll even forward them to the artist.

We're a nonprofit theatre, of course, and nonprofits like to have very fancy mission statements. Ours is easy to grasp and easy to remember, and it's simply this.

Here at the Don Gibson Theatre, our job is to make you say "Wow, that was fantastic!"

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Don Gibson's name is used with permission of the Don Gibson Music Foundation. All Rights Reserved.