Alhambra Theatre

44 W. Washington Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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Alhambra Theatre

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The Alhambra building was built on the site of the former Casino Theatre. This was the first theatre built in Indianapolis for movies only. It was the first movie house in the city to built with a balcony. It was built by the Dickson-Talbot chain. The facade of the theatre was Rockwood Pottery, with the interior painted in ebony and gold.

There were two organs used in the Alhambra, the first being a A.M.P. Moller and the second was a Smith-Geneva. After the theatre closed in 1921, the Smith Geneva organ was moved to the Cadle Tabernacle. The Alhambra has been demolished.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 9, 2006 at 4:29 pm

On 5/28/17, the Alhambra was featuring Alice Brady in “Maternity”. The Indianapolis Star listed several other venues of the day, but some seem to be a mixture of vaudeville and films or vaudeville only, so it’s hard to say which would be an actual movie theater:

The Circle – “Shrine of the Silent Art"
Regent (Last Time – Dorothy Phillips in "The Flashlight”)
Park – Summer Vaudeville (perhaps no films at all)
BF Keiths – “Patriotic Photoplays, World News Weekly"
English’s – Universal News Weekly
Majestic – Burlesque

DonnieK on January 28, 2007 at 6:16 am

I have a pictue of my cousin from Shelbyville IN,
in front of the Alhambra theather in Indianapolis????????
early 1940s second floor has DR. Wilson Dentist sign
movie is You’ll Never Get Rich

anyone interested ?

DonnieK in sunny Florida

Lostnyc on May 27, 2008 at 8:42 pm

I recently bought this 14" wide plaster lion which came from a theater, probably in Indiana, if anyone has any recollection of seeing lions like this in a now demolished theater I’d sure like to hear about it for my historical records for this sculpture;

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kencmcintyre on June 25, 2009 at 5:06 pm

Here is an article from the Indianapolis Star, dated 10/10/15:

The most important transaction of the year in the local amusement field was completed yesterday when B.V. Barton and Charles M. Olson acquired the Alhambra Theater from Dickson & Talbot, the new owners taking possession immediately. The terms of the deal were not given out.

Barton and Olson are owners of the Lyric and Isis theaters on North Illinois Street and have been active in the motion picture and vaudeville business for several years. Barton established the second motion picture house opened in Indianapolis. The sale of the Alhambra marks the retirement from the amusement business of Dickson & Talbot. At one time they controlled and operated the English, the old Grand and the old Park (now the Lyceum) Theaters here, and they also owned and operated theaters in Dayton and Columbus, Ohio.

Dlckson & Talbot entered the motion picture field several years ago in conjunction with the late C.L. Sutherland. They built the Orpheum and Alhambra Theaters. Shortly after this they retired from the operation of their legitimate playhouses here and at Dayton and Columbus, letting them to the firm of Anderson & Ziegler. On the death of Mr. Sutherland they determined to retire from the amusement business.

The Alhambra is one of the most completely equipped motion picture theaters in the city. Mr. Barton said that some changes may be made in the policy of the house, and future plans include remodeling the front of the theater building. For the present, however, it will continue along the lines established by Dickson & Talbot.

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