Tower Theatre

20 S. Illinois Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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One of the smaller theatres that was located in the downtown section of Indianapolis. The Tower Theatre opened in 1919 in a Neo-Classical style and 1,000 seats. By 1935 it was operated by Goulden Theatres with seating listed at 598.

The Tower Theatre closed in 1950 and has since been demolished. There is a new high rise office building where the theatre once stood.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

JohnnyC. on October 24, 2015 at 9:49 pm

Neither the 1919 or the 1922 Indianapolis City directories show a Tower theatre. As you have noted, the Lincoln Square aka Rialto theatre was located at 20 South Illinois Street. It is very possible that Tower is a later name for the Rialto theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Yikes. I do believe I posted that comment to the wrong page. I’ll move it. Thanks.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2015 at 12:05 am

This is a bit puzzling. I can’t find any references to the Tower Theatre other than the ones at Cinema Treasures and on the list of Indianapolis theaters at CinemaTour. It is possible that Tower was an aka for the Lincoln Square, but if so I haven’t been able to discover when.

If the address and the opening year were part of Chuck’s original description then it’s possible that the Family Theatre was briefly renamed the Tower before being renovated as the Rialto. If that’s the case then this page is redundant. I haven’t found any documentation that it was so renamed, though.

JohnnyC. on October 25, 2015 at 12:34 am

The 1928 edition of the film daily yearbook shows the Rialto theatre with an address of 20 S. Illinois Street.

The 1941 edition of the film daily yearbook shows the Tower theatre with seating for 800 and an address of 20 S. Illinois Street.

My best guess is this, either the Rialto theatre and the Tower theatre are one in the same or one theatre replaced the other at some point.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 25, 2015 at 1:20 am

Completely new construction is less likely than a renovation and renaming, unless the Rialto building was destroyed by some disaster. The FDY listings also indicate that the Lincoln Square Theatre must have returned to its earlier name of Rialto sometime in the 1920s. Chuck’s introduction says that the Tower was operating in 1935.

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