The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s when disco balls replaced light fixtures and complex hand-slaps were substituted for tickets. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster and terracotta exterior. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.
Founded in 2002 by Erik Sanborn, a Minnesota native whose art has taken him to stages across 25 countries, the Metropolitan Ballet curates a company of skilled dancers, some with ties to such prestigious companies as the Bolshoi Ballet. The curriculum is grounded in the Vaganova method of ballet, which emphasizes a strong core and full-body perfection of movement. The company also stays busy with a full season of performances, with lavishly costumed dancers moving through dramatic stories that have ranged from Dracula to The Nutcracker.