Showing 14 comments
Oops. I meant thanks to Ken Mc. for the article, and thanks to Lost Memory for the recent pic.
Thanks for the article, Lost Memory. I do hope they can do something with the place. In this economy, it’s more daunting than ever, but there’s always hope.
So sad that the interior was allowed to be so wrecked by the hole in the roof. I know lots of people find that unfathomable, but I once rented a house from a woman who let a big dead tree fall on the house and punch a hole in the roof. It went unrepaired for months!
I loved it too! We probably were there at the same time, indeed. I’m pretty sure I was there for Journey to the Center of the Earth. Mothra is also a likely bet. (Dang, I was crazy about big ol' rubber-beast-suit movies.)
I wonder if anyone has contacted Jeff, in the post above yours, Rib 51. Sounds fascinating! Perhaps he can post some items to the site. Shall you contact him or shall I? :–)
Oh, shoot. I did go to the Rivoli, but my Beatles story I posted for that was actually about the Emerson! Glad to see it is still there! Fun facade and general architecture.
Did it have live music in its later years at any time? I seem to remember going there once with a friend who lived on Belmont.
If I recall correctly, this, along with the Fox, were Indy’s so-called “art houses” for years, featuring burlesque and then porno movies. I used to read the adverts in the papers when I was a kid and wonder just what the heck “adult movies”, “XXX,” and “live shows” were about. I knew there were naked people involved, but that was about it!
Thanks to the person who mentioned that each restroom stall had its own sink! Mere days ago I was trying to remember what theaters had those!
My folks and I went to this cinema when I was in my early and mid teens. I remember all the hooha about “The Fox” (which played there) because of its lesbian scene. We went to see the “Odd Couple” on the other side, and the huge line we thought was for “The Fox” was actually for the comedy instead! (We found it well worth the wait.)
Architectually bland, but I did like the films, & the restrooms. :–)
Dang, you’re right! I’ve got to start thinking big!
I’m sorry to know that the Uptown lost its “life” to a parking lot! I lived near there in the early 1970s. At that time, it became a venue for underground and foreign films there. I saw, among other films, Andy Warhol’s “Trash” and “Heat” (worried the whole time that we were going to get busted, since they were rated X). Anyway, I saw probably half a dozen interesting flicks I wouldn’t see elsewhere in Indy before I moved away. Rest in peace, Uptown.
The Rivoli was close to my school (#62, on East Tenth across from the Steer-In, now destroyed and the lot turned over to a Mormon church), so I sometimes went there with school friends. I saw “Help!” there on its release, along with “A Hard Day’s Night.” I had just turned 12 and was supposed to pay 50 cents, but I lied and got in for a quarter. I felt so guilty I left another quarter under the pop machine. I’m 54 now, and with movies costing $8 and more, I want my quarter back!
I remember the Ritz by name only as a movie theater, but I was part of the scene there in 1970 when it became a rock house. The name of the place was Middle Earth, and I worked there briefly in concessions and even more briefly as a bouncer! Some name acts as well as local bands played there, including Richie Havens and Frank Zappa.
The building is still there—long boarded up and sans marquee and generally falling apart, but it is still there. The neighborhood around 34th and Illinois remains pretty much a slum, and heaven knows if anything decent will ever become of the old Ritz.
Any updates to be had on the Irving? I no longer live in Indy (haven’t for decades), but I grew up in Irvington. So did my mom and dad, and the former actually worked at the Irving in the 1940s.
I remember it as the Irving and in the 1970s as the Festival, a theater showing indy and underground films.
I’d love there to be a renaissance and restoration of the Irving as a theater.
The second IDS story above is now at http://tinyurl.com/rrp59
You can read the latest on plans for the Von Lee building at http://tinyurl.com/frqj6 The gutting of the building to enact this plan recently began (or was going to, anyway). I’m sad that the Von Lee will no longer be a theatre. Many people worked hard to save it, and in the end, only slightly more than the facade was saved, despite the theatre’s historical status.
I’ve good memories of the place—watching Bergman and Fellini films there, and the AFI’s series there in the 1970s, for example. The last film I saw there was, I believe, either Brain Candy or Trainspotting.
As a sidenote, I heard but do not know if it is true that the owners of the Von Lee (the Vonderschmitts, that is) also owned the Y&W Drive-In at the northern edge of town. I also wonder if the Y&W was related to the 3-screen Y&W in Merrillville, IN.
It saddens me so that the Arlington closed. I haven’t lived in Indy in many years, but family remain there, and I do get back into the neighborhood sometimes. I frequented the Arlington as a child in the fifties and sixties, first living around 32nd and Arlington and later around Tenth and Graham. I watched Bambi there and criiiiiiiiiied. I watched who knows how many Disney films. I also remember watching my first scary movie there: the original of The Fly, burying my fave in my friend’s coat when the poor scientist bought it (both times, I think!). And I saw some of the old Price/Poe flicks and so forth there. I sure hope someone has and will post some pics. They just don’t make theatre architecture like that any more.