Melbourne's original State Theatre was built in 1929 to seat 3,371 patrons and is situated on Flinders Street. It was conceived as an "atmospheric auditorium", a novelty in Melbourne at the time. Another notable feature was the dual-console Wurlitzer organ, the first to be built "west of Chicago", and since relocated to the Moorabbin Town Hall in 1967. The State Theatre was renamed the Forum in 1963.
The current State Theatre opened in 1984 and is part of the The Arts Centre located by the Yarra River and St Kilda Road, the city's main thoroughfare. The State Theatre is a venue for ballet, opera and other productions (but not plays, which are performed in The Playhouse and elsewhere). Like the other performance venues within the Arts Centre, the State Theatre is underground. The stage is one of the largest in the world.