STARKVILLE, MS – Courtesy of the Dispatch and Grant McLaughlin
State Theater owners Greg and Mark Hayden are banking that they will be able to succeed where some others have failed over the past two decades – as their attempt to revitalize the venerable venue as a restaurant, bar, and live music theater. They purchased the property in 2015; it was originally founded as a movie hall in the 1930s and has borne other names and hosted several businesses ever since. The Hayden’s face an uphill challenge due, in part to the sheer size of the venus and the attendant costs, but they are certain that they are up to the challenge. The bar is ready to rock already, and they are continuing to invest their hard-earned money into renovating the rest of the building.
Mayor Lynn Spruill expressed her support for the project and reminisced about her own past as a patron there: “When I was growing up, I used to go to the movies there, so I’m very fond of the fact that people are trying to bring it back to life,” Spruill said. “I’m excited about having events downtown. I’ve always thought that the Cotton District was the Cotton District and then downtown had other things to offer. So, I like the idea of us having more than one location for that.”
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