Boice Theater

East Center Street & South Indiana Street,
Warsaw, IN 46580

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The Centennial Theater dates back to at least 1926 when a Marr & Colton theater organ was installed.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on April 6, 2010 at 6:58 pm

I don’t see this building on either part of the intersection of Center and Indiana. All buildings look like new construction.

lipalarp on May 4, 2011 at 10:21 am

This building burned and the outer shell was retained but totally rebuilt for retail.

TLSLOEWS on May 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

Thanks again oldtimer in the know, welcome to Cinema Treasures.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 5, 2011 at 7:10 am

There are conflicting reports about the theaters in Warsaw, but this house should probably be listed as the Boice Theatre, with Centennial as an aka. It was built in either 1916 or 1917, became the Boice Theatre in 1955, and operated until 1973. A comment on this message board page says that the theater that was the Boice in the 1950s had once been the Centennial, and that it had been built in 1916. It suggests that the Centennial might have been closed for a long time before being reopened as the Boice, and the building might have had some other use in the meantime, but that’s not certain.

But then this 2005 Union-News article says that the Boice was “newly built” in 1955. I’m inclined to think that’s wrong, as the building on the corner today has the same form as the one in the picture Lost Memory linked to (though it’s been refaced with modern materials,) and that was clearly an old building with a stage house. The article also says the house was operated by the Boices until it was destroyed by a fire in 1973, but this 1968 article about Ralph and Gladys Boice says that they had by then retired from the theater business and had recently leased the Boice Theatre to a Roger Vores.

The Boices had begun operating the Strand Theatre on North Buffalo Street in 1931, according to the 1968 article. I’ve also come across a reference to a Bell Theatre in Warsaw, the name of which was changed to the New Grand in late 1915. A house called the Royal was operating in Warsaw at the same time (it’s possible that one or the other of these might have become the Strand.) The old Warsaw Opera House might have been operating as a movie theater at that time, too, as it was mentioned in same issue of The Motion Picture World, January 1, 1916. However, this page with a history of the Opera House doesn’t mention it being used for movies. The Opera House was destroyed by a fire in 1967. The same page gives the opening year of the Centennial as 1917, rather than 1916.

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