Wallace Theatre

21 W. Main Street,
Peru, IN 46970

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John_M_Moore on April 16, 2016 at 1:10 pm

We were really honored to find this rare promo-image of the Old Wallace Theatre dated 1959. The image was in a collection we obtained but was badly deteriorated, with portions of the image either missing or stained. The restoration of the image is as historically correct as we could make it. The films shown on the marquee were selected from the 1959 film list (We could not tell what the original sign had posted.) But architecturally the image is accurate. It definitely shows how beautiful a treasure was lost.

jmoore on July 24, 2013 at 1:21 am

The Wallace Theatre was smaller than the Roxy, however it did have it’s own unique charm, including the entry to the theatre. This was another one of those theatres that many traveling acts came to perform at, and due to it’s smaller size it allowed for a more entertaining experience. As a movie theatre it held it’s own for many years. Unfortunately it’s market dried up, and since it lacked the grandeur of the Roxy there was never a real effort to preserve it. It’s auditorium was long and respectively more narrow (with 720+ seats) compared to the grand auditorium of the Roxy. By 1961, poorly maintained by the Alliance Theatre Group, the old Wallace Theatre passed into the memories of theatres gone by. It too was lost to the wrecking ball. It was a sad loss too, because of the acoustics of that old theatre. Had she survived the trend of destroying such old treasures, she surely would have made a great community theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 11, 2012 at 8:40 pm

The Wallace Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1909, when an item in the April 23 issue of the Rochester Sentinel said that Charles Holden, owner of a stock company then playing at the Park Theatre in Indianapolis, had secured a lease on the Wallace Theatre in Peru. Holden already controlled the Eagles Theatre in Wabash, and later that year would take over the Manitou Theatre in Rochester, a vaudeville house which he would convert into a movie theater.