Indian Hills Theater
8601 W. Dodge Road,
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The Indian Hills Theater was built by Richard L. Crowther and was one of just a handful of theaters designed especially for Cinerama in the 1960’s. It debuted in December 1962 with Lawrence Harvey in “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”. It featured a 105-foot wide screen (the largest in the US). Under later management, the theater was expanded to two, and then four screens, by building screens adjacent to the main one.
Carmike Cinemas closed the Indian Hills Theater in October, 2000, as it was supposedly one of many under-performing theaters the chain was forced to shed. Unfortunately, the theater was just months away from completing a major renovation that included new seats, drapery, and an SDDS/DTS-capable sound system.
Efforts to restore the theater back to its Cinerama roots with a 70mm projector were unsuccesful when Methodist Health Systems purchased the theater. Announcing in June, 2001 that the building would cost over $1 million to renovate, Methodist decided to demolish the theater despite numerous protests from all over the world and from such luminaries as Leonard Maltin, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Ray Bradbury and many more. It was demolished on August 20, 2001 for a parking lot.
The Indian Hills theater was not only an Omaha landmark, but a treasured reminder of the architecture of the time and the exuberance that such technology inspired in the 1960’s.
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