Indiana Theatre

683 Ohio Street,
Terre Haute, IN 47807

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Showing 26 - 50 of 52 comments

keralston on November 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

I was wondering who I can contact to see about having an event at the theatre? I have tried calling the number, but it just rings busy. I would appreciate any help.

Thank you,

Patsy on October 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

What a beautiful Eberson built theatre in the heart of Indiana. The website with photos is excellent.

kaecorp on July 30, 2009 at 8:02 am

I don’t usually reply to posts in this format however this does beg a reply.

First off thank you for choosing to bring your family to the Free Family Film Festival we know you have a choice and after all it is FREE! If you have ever taken the time to look around the theatre after one of these shows you might have some understanding of the task to clean the building afterwards. With 600 plus people (most of which are children) attending each show it is a difficult task to clean up after everyone.

You obviously have not spent much time in old buildings, and some of the people that attend the festival may not use the best of hygiene but we choose not to judge people by their lack of means, the festival is after all free to everyone.

With regard to seats, there are not any seats marked as “do not use” and I find it incredible that you personally checked 80% of our seats, are you telling me that you personally checked 1,299 seats? Because that is 80% of the 1,624 seats that we have, and this includes the upper balcony that is not even open during the festival!

I find it ignorant on your part to think that we are responsible for the past 80 years or so of deferred maintenance from past owners. We have spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars in the ongoing maintenance and restoration of this magnificent building and if you think that you can do a better job if it well, you are welcome to purchase the theatre and spend your own hard earned money and then sit back and watch as people abuse it every time that an event is held here if you believe that you can. It would not surprise me at the least that the only time you come to the theatre is when it is free.

On another note I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who chooses to continue and support the Indiana Theatre, all that we do is for you.

shamwilliams on July 29, 2009 at 7:39 am

My family & I have attended a few of the Free Family Films they have had on Wednesdays this year & I was very very saddened by the condition of the interior of the theater itself. As soon as you walk into the theater room itself it smells of mold/mildew/urine like smells. The walls of the theater are in such bad shape that you can now see the rapidly aging brick & looks to be crumbling in parts. 80% of the seats are in what should be non-usable shape. many covered w/ either do no use tape or duct tape. The carpet is so nasty it sticks to your shoes when you walk. This is a complete & utter shame the owners haven’t taken care of this amazing building

soybean on July 9, 2009 at 11:38 am

According to the Indiana Theater website, the only activity taking place at this theater now is free family movies. Shown on Wednesday morning & afternoon. So sad,a beautiful theater like this is barely being used now. Wish I had the money to buy this theater & have it busy with activity again like it was when I was growing up.

soybean on March 25, 2009 at 3:20 pm

I was looking at the Indiana Theater website this afternoon. Though it states the theater would reopen the first part of March, the theater doesn’t appear to had reopen. As there is no listing of a movie(s) being shown at the theater on the theater’s website. I drove by the theater a week ago. On the marquee was only the words “ Think Spring”. It’s the afternoon of March 25, 2009 when I’m writng this. I don’t think the owners will be able to sell this theater quick considering the price they are asking for it. Unless someone like Donald Trump is interested in buying the theater.

calc on January 19, 2009 at 1:55 pm

for sale on loop net!!

soybean on December 19, 2008 at 9:05 am

Yesterday on the Indiana Theater website it stated the theater would be closed till sometime in March. Though there will be a music concert in January at the theater.

soybean on January 2, 2008 at 10:57 am

On the Indiana Theater website today , it states the theater will be closed for January. Will be making some updates to the sound system and construction activity for the installation of the Pipe Organ. They are taking donations for the Pipe Organ project.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats will be at the Theater on February 11, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.

NativeForestHiller on October 1, 2007 at 7:41 pm

Considering the theaters that are being sacrificed at the sake of progress, I am elated this gem is still with us & is undergoing a restoration. Bless all!

soybean on February 2, 2007 at 2:14 pm

I grew up with this theater. I can remember back when there were two movie theaters in downtown Terre Haute. This theater & the Grand Theater. This was before there were shopping malls at Terre Haute. Years ago the Indiana show first run movies with a news reel shown between shows. The theater was full every time my parents & I were attending a show. Back when they didn’t care if you brought food into the theater. We would buy sandwiches at one of the dime stores, then eat our lunch in the theater while watching a movie on the big screen. It’s worth the admission price, just to see the inside of this theater. Even if the movie that is showing stinks, you don’t feel like you have been cheated. They are some live shows & concerts held here with the screen raised for these events.

kencmcintyre on May 20, 2006 at 10:37 am

Here are articles on the theater as well as the architect:

AnneR on March 26, 2006 at 9:40 am

My husband and I recently had the pleasure of visiting the historic Indiana Theatre during our short trip to Terre Haute, IN. The theatre is still fully functioning as a movie theatre and charges a mere $3 for admittance to the show. With a soda & popcorn deal for around $6 – you can have a really cheap date for only $12 (plus a free refill on the popcorn & soda)! They really need to raise their prices, because the building in itself is a main attraction worth paying admission to see!

The façade is beautiful, but the real beauty of this building overwhelms you once you step inside the front doors. Upon entering the front door you are compelled to look up at the 3 or 4 story high ceiling. The ornate carvings, paintings, and chandeliers instantly take you back in time to a place that was once graced by the wealthiest of patrons seeking extravagent entertainment and luxury. The lobby maintains your expectations of gradeur with carvings of naked ladies hanging from the ceilings, and a beautiful fountain gracing the grand stairs to the balcony.

Upon entering the actual theatre, you are overwhelmed by the grand size and have no trouble finding an excellent seat among the 1,600 offered. The acoustics are great, and perhaps a little too great considering the fact that you can hear others moving around in the squeaky old theatre seats- which the owners hope to raise funds to replace with more comfortable and less noisy seating. The ornate carvings are a little more subdued with dark paints inside the theatre so as not to distract from the actual movie- but are still intruiging and magnifent enough to keep you from watching the previews before the movie begins.

It is rumored that an organ guild is hoping to install a theate organ in the building for live performances that would mimic the old silent movies traditionally accompanied by theatre organists. However, it is also rumored that the building may be sold if there are not enough funds to support its preservation. The last building in downtown Terre Haute that underwent a failed preservation attempt was torn down (the Terre Haute House), and will be replaced by a newly built Hilton Garden Inn hotel.

The historic buildings of this area have had to rely heavily on governmental support, which has been insufficient, because there hasn’t been enough private donations to support the preservation and revitalization of these historic gems.

I suggest that anyone interested in seeing this theatre for yourself, call (812)232-8076 for the latest events and showtimes. I recently tried the website and found it to be inactive- though it could simply be undergoing an update. The phone number will produce the most up-to-date info.

Patsy on September 22, 2005 at 5:22 am

What a beautiful exterior front facade!

Patsy on February 16, 2005 at 11:27 am

One reason the Indiana is extraordinary is because the architect was John Eberson! If you are lucky enough to live in a city that has an Eberson theatre that is still open and perhaps having been restored, consider yourself very lucky!

Patsy on February 16, 2005 at 11:25 am

The exterior of the Indiana is most extraordinary as there is nothing ordinary about it!

longislandmovies on October 31, 2004 at 7:06 pm

its for sale and cant find much info on it other than it is in great shape

longislandmovies on October 31, 2004 at 6:46 pm

astra theater in jasper?

longislandmovies on October 31, 2004 at 1:56 pm


DBWiegers on July 12, 2004 at 5:53 pm

I would suggest that the folks working on the Indiana contact the Theatre Historical Society in Elmhurst, Illinois. I believe that the John Ebberson archives are in the Wolfsonian Museum in Miami.

Brismile on July 12, 2004 at 1:53 pm

Theodore W. Barhydt organized the Indiana Theater company to raise more than $750,000 to building the Indiana Theater. Esteemed Chicago theater architect John Eberson was enlisted to create an entertainment palace to accommodate 2000 patrons in stadium-style seating. John A. Schumacher & Co. of Indianapolis was the general contractor. Raymond Mork was Eberson’s on-site superintendent. The theater’s ornate domed ceiling was trimmed in 24-carat gold plate.

Originally affiliated with Paramount Pictures, The Indiana officially opened on Jan. 28, 1922, though early previews were given to stockholders and dignitaries. Theater employees wore costumes consistent with the theater’s Spanish Andalusian motife. Peacocks strutted about the lobby, which included handsome mosaic floors, an elegant fountain and a marble staircase. The 12-foot “Paramount Peacock,” at the top of the marquee, required 3,000 light bulbs. Sidney Smith was the theater’s first manager. The 20-piece Indiana Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by Raymond Bond Townsley, occupied the orchestra pit which incorporated a $50,000 Wurlitzer Hope-Jones pipe organ played by R. Wellington Welch and Jack Welch. The organ’s massive pipes were concealed in the walls. Festivities began with a inspiring version of “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” by Terre Haute native Paul Dresser. The premier film feature was “Cappy Ricks,” starring Thomas Meighan and Agnes Ayers.

Mike McCormick
Vigo County Historian