Mister Smith's Theater

39 N. Illinois Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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Prior to opening as Mister Smith’s Theater the building housed Mister Smith’s Restaurant and Buffet. After finding the cost of dismantling the old sign and installing a new one it was decided to call the theater Mister Smith’s Theater, leaving the already installed lighted sign up from Mister Smith’s restaurant. The theater only lasted three years and closed in 1922. The theater seated 290.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 2, 2010 at 4:56 am

Mister Smith’s Theatre (the way the name was presented in the ads for the house) was operated by S. Barrett McCormick, manager of the Circle Theatre, which was then the leading movie palace in Indianapolis. The November 8, 1919, issue of Motion Picture News ran an article about Mister Smith’s, accompanied by four examples of the theater’s advertising.

The article doesn’t mention the story about the origin of the theater’s name that appears in the description above. I wonder if that could be a local urban legend? Or perhaps somebody opened a restaurant called Mister Smith’s in the space after the theater closed, and the tale has gotten reversed over the years? This is one of those times I wish more old city directories were available on the Internet. They could answer such questions quickly enough.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on December 2, 2010 at 8:19 am

Thanks Joe,this theatre cought my eye by its name which is the same as mine.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 2, 2010 at 9:27 pm

Yes, this could be one of those tales that gets told.Needs a check.

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