Diana Theatre

137 E. Jefferson Street,
Tipton, IN 46072

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Showing 8 comments

mpd732 on January 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

lostmemory, you are uploading my photos from Flickr illegally. Please read and then remove>>>>COPYRIGHT NOTICE: All photographs, text and html coding appearing in this/my Flickr site are protected under United States and international copyright laws. No images are within Public Domain. Use of any image as the basis for another photographic concept or illustration is a violation of copyright. Please do NOT steal my photos, scans or anything in my photostream for your little blogs or websites, Pinterest or Tumblr, Facebook or any other “social media”., or use them for any commercial or non-commercial, for or non-profit uses and please, don’t link to them AT ALL ANYWHERE. ALL photos here are NOT available for purchase. No, you may NOT use them for free, so please don’t waste your/my time asking. (That includes the “but we’ll give you a photo credit” crowd.)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 24, 2008 at 11:10 am

This is a 2008 photo of the Diana Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 20, 2007 at 7:45 am

Here is another photo of the Diana Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 8, 2007 at 1:52 pm

This is a June 22, 2006 article about the Diana Theater.

“Tipton’s Diana Theater going strong at 80.

Kokomo Tribune

TIPTON â€" Paintings of a Roman goddess adorn either side of the 15-by-30-foot screen inside the Diana Theater.

OK, so Diana is a Roman goddess who had the role of protector of children, and the Paikos family, which started and continues to own the Tipton theater after 80 years, is Greek.

Things like that happen when a committee picks the name out of entries from a contest.

Yet, the name is fitting as children and families are a cornerstone to the success of the Diana.

Children have long been a focal part of the theater’s business as founder Nick Paikos started the ongoing tradition of free movies for children at Christmas and Easter.

In the hands of the Paikos family for 80 years, the Diana is Indiana’s oldest theater owned by one family.

Fourth-generation members are now coming in and working with Jim, the son of the founder, and his wife Martha.

“I love to see the families, to see all of the children,” Martha Paikos said. “That’s the best part is to see how happy the children are.”

The Diana has stood on the same location at 137 E. Jefferson, just east of the Tipton County Courthouse, since June 26, 1926.

Sunday and Monday, the Paikos family will celebrate the 400-seat theater’s anniversary with souvenirs and prizes in addition to their usual family-priced admission and concessions.

A Greek immigrant, Nick Paikos came to Tipton from Peru, where he was working in an uncle’s theater.

“When he found out there was a theater, he came here, bought it and stayed,” Jim said. “The name Diana came from a contest they had. A little boy won it after his name was chosen by committee. In those days, the theater in a small town was a big thing.”

At one time, Nick Paikos also owned theaters in Noblesville, Valparaiso, Warsaw and Huntington.

Tipton nearly lost the Diana in 1947, when an August fire gutted the building and causing an estimated $40,000 at the time. Eight months later, it reopened.

When the theater was rebuilt, a crying room for babies was added upstairs near the projection room. It is the only one in Indiana and may be the only one in the country, the family says.

“People come here and are amazed. They love it,” Jim said. “They can bring children up here and not bother anyone downstairs.”

When Nick Paikos opened the theater, the silent-film era was in full swing.

“We probably got sound late in 1929 or in 1930,” his son said. “Dad had a pianist and he’d get a drummer or a saxophone player every now and then. ‘Whatever musician I could get,’ Dad said.”

Cinemascope arrived in 1953 while Jim was in the military and the screen grew to its present size. The 35-mm duel-reel projectors went by the wayside in 1996 when the Diana converted to the platter, a long-play horizontal feed and take-up system.

Digital filmmaking will be the next change in the film industry. Films will be downloaded from satellites or arrive on high-definition digital tape. That revolution may take a while, and if it does, that’s OK at the Diana.

“As long as you have a good clear picture, decent sound and comfortable seats, what else do you need?” Jim Paikos asked.

Customers, the owners say, come from surrounding towns.

“We get customers from Elwood, Noblesville, Kokomo, Cicero, Sheridan. It just amazes me where people come from,” Martha said.

“Most of the adults who come say it reminds them of the theater when they were younger,” Martha continued. “Now, they bring their children and grandchildren. A lot of them will say ‘I used to come here when I was little.’”

Single-screen theaters were once the foundation of the film industry and nearly every small town had at least one. Tipton had two for several years.

The number of single-screen theaters, however, has dwindled to 1,629 nationwide as of 2004, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.

Jim and Martha have three children and seven grandchildren.

“The grandkids love to come in and help. Hopefully, someone will decide they want to get into the theater business,” Jim said. “All of them help out, but they have their own careers.”

There are days, Jim admits, he’d get out of the movie business.

“But, I don’t really think I’ve ever meant it. It’s a good business, and, as long as we’re healthy, why should we quit?”.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 8, 2007 at 9:24 am

This is a photo of the Diana Theater.