The State Street Theater was built in 1913 as a Warner silent movie theater. Best known as the Electric Ballroom, and The Palms in the 1970s and 80s the building has deep roots in Milwaukee’s arts and performance history. In its’ heyday, up and coming acts such as U2, The Police, AC/DC, Talking Heads, Tom Petty, and many others performed at the Theater as a vital stop in their early touring careers. Prior to that, it was a dance hall called the Friendship Club where locals could dance to the sounds of big band music. The building has now been vacant for over two decades, and much has changed in Milwaukee since then.
In 2017 the building had a devastating fire that almost sealed its’ fate as another great building demolished in the city, however, this one is being saved. It will be known as The New State, and it will be a hub for music once again. This time it will house performance space, recording studios, a record label, vendor space, and practice rooms as well as a non-profit group to train young people to be successful in the music industry.