Indian Hills Theatre
8601 W. Dodge Road,
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The Indian Hills Theatre was designed by architect Richard L. Crowther for Cooper Foundation and was one of just a handful of theatres designed especially for 3-strip Cinerama in the 1960’s. It debuted on December 21, 1962 with Laurence Harvey in “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”. It featured a 105-foot wide screen (the largest in the US). In 1977 a second screen named Cameo Theatre was built and opened adjacent to the main theatre. Under later management two more screens were built adjacent to the main one.
Carmike Cinemas closed the Indian Hills Theatre in October, 2000, as it was supposedly one of many under-performing theatres the chain was forced to shed. Unfortunately, the theatre 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 theatre back to its Cinerama roots with a 70mm projector were unsuccesful when Methodist Health Systems purchased the theatre. Announcing in June, 2001 that the building would cost over $1 million to renovate, Methodist decided to demolish the theatre 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 Theatre 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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