683 Ohio Street,
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The historically registered Indiana Theatre on the corner of Ohio Street & S. 7th Street opened on January 28, 1922, with the Paramount Pictures produced silent film “Cappy Ricks” starring Thomas Meighan, accompanied by the Indiana Symphony Orchestra. The theatre seated 2,018, and though some things have changed since that historic night, the magic created then continues today.
The Indiana Theatre not only holds a special place in the hearts of Terre Hautians; it also holds a unique place in history as the first version of Atmospheric style theatre design. Famed architect John Eberson – creator of the Atmospheric style of architecture that would later take America by storm – incorporated his Atmospheric concepts into the theatre by bringing outdoors in through stylized motifs, color and lighting. As the original owner T.W. Barhydt put it, the Indian Theatre is “more than a theatre, more than a picture show, more than a great orchestral concert, more than a building of architectural beauty and comfort”, it was an experience all its own. As a guest enters and walks through the theatre, he is embraced by lighting and colors that emulate the lifecycle of the day created through patterns and colors inspired by 17th century Spanish Andalusia. In the rotunda the colors shift from light pastel in the Churriguerisque style plasterwork, to fierce reds and golds of a sunrise in the railing, leaving the remnants of dawn in the deep burgundy’s of the dome sky.
Guided into the promenade, the lobby acts as the transitory stage of midday, decorated by 38 male & female statues along both sides and an ornate ceiling with even more faces to fill the lobby with life. Entering into the mystery of nightfall in the auditorium, the guest experiences the deep tones of reds, blues, and browns. Long time employees remember acts like Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Jack Burns, the Marx Brothers Road Shows and even “Jesus Christ Superstar” here at the Indian Theatre. Our auditorium also boasts one of the largest movie screens in Indiana; measuring at 54' x 33', it is second only to the IMAX screens.
With a keen appreciation of the theatre’s remarkable architecture and history, we have added a few key features to keep the Indiana Theatre a relevant and vibrant symbol of Terre Haute’s resurgent future. Significant paint and plasterwork restoration has been completed around the building and 300 theatre seats were removed to make way for a flat terrace in the auditorium. The orchestra pit was also covered, except for a section that will be the future home of an antique Wurlitzer pipe organ console. The terrace and covered orchestra pit provide valuable open floor space to make the auditorium more versatile and capable of table seating. The terrace can accommodate 175 for table seating and the orchestra deck can hold 25. The lobby can accommodate 200. Portable bars are available in the auditorium and lobby as well.
Other upgrades include digital projection, a new sound system, and LED atmospheric lighting. Future upgrades include new theatres seats and expansion in other areas of the building to provide more space for events and amenities.
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