Grand Theatre

29 N. Seventh Street,
Terre Haute, IN 47807

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GRAND OPERA HOUSE; Terre Haute, Indiana.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in November 1897, the Grand Opera House was located on Seventh Street at Cherry Street. It was meant to replace the earlier Naylor Opera House, which was destroyed in a fire in 1896. The Grand Opera House originally seated over 1,300, and besides opera, hosted plays, minstrel shows, and local religious and political gatherings.

Among those to appear onstage here included John Phillip Sousa, Ethel Barrymore, Lillian Russell, Al Jolson, and George M. Cohan. At the time, Terre Haute was known as the “entertainment hub” of western Indiana.

By the early-1930’s, when movies replaced live entertainment there, the Grand Opera House became known as the Grand Theatre. By 1941 it was operated by Alliance Theater Corp. In 1959 the Grand Theatre closed, and after a farewell banquet was held in the Grand Theatre, the building was torn down in August, 1960.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

soybean
soybean on April 8, 2007 at 2:49 pm

unless there was two Grand Theatres in Terre Haute, the address shown for this Grand Theare is incorrect. I grew up watching movies at the Grand Theatre on Wabash Avenue. I was born the last part of 1950.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm

Apparently there were two Grand theaters. The Vigo County Public Library mentions the following:
“In the early 1930s, the Grand Opera House’s name changed to the Grand Theatre. (This is not to be confused with the more recent Grand Theater located at 8th and Wabash.) During this time, the theater’s focus shifted from live entertainment to a movie house”.

Also from the Vigo County Public Library, the Grand Opera House in Terre Haute was designed by the architectural firm of Floyd and Stone.

DavidAE
DavidAE on October 3, 2013 at 7:00 am

The theater on Wabash Ave. was renamed the Grand after the Opera House was torn down. I was in the Wabash Ave. Grand in the 70’s when I was at ISU. The manager told me that there was a tunnel from the front basement across Wabash to the theater building on the north side of the street. He said that actors would appear on multiple stages using different names at the same time to increase income. According to him many of the theaters around 7th and Wabash were connected underground.

DavidAE
DavidAE on December 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Gone With the Wind @ the Grand on 7th street http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/P0129&CISOPTR=107&CISOBOX=1&REC=15

Window display re: GWTW @ Grand http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/P0129&CISOPTR=153&CISOBOX=1&REC=3

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