Hilbert Circle Theater

45 Monument Circle,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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The Circle in 1930

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Originally opened on August 30, 1916, with a seating capacity for 2,712. The Circle Theater was remodeled in the mid-1980’s into a concert hall for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

At that time, the theater was reseated to 1,780 seats and the lobby was enlarged in to the back of the house. The original organ was removed long ago, but in March 2010 a Wurlitzer 3 manual/24 rank organ (ex-Warner Theatre, Youngstown, OH) was installed.

Contributed by Jason Young

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 25, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Here is a May 1917 ad from the Indianapois Star:
http://tinyurl.com/ma2dl2

CarltonSmith
CarltonSmith on November 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

Let me start by correcting some organ history misinformation in a post dated April 3, 2006. The 1916 Hook & Hastings organ was replaced in 1922(not 1925)by a Wurlitzer style 260 (3/15). The Wurlitzer was indeed removed in 1959. However, it was completely parted out. It did not end up in a Pizza Parlor.

It is true that a custom Allen digital organ was installed in the theatre for a one time performance durling the 2001 ATOS Convention.

Fast forward to 2002 when a Wurlitzer style 240 (3/13)was donated to the Central Indiana Chapter of ATOS. This instrument was origionally installed in the Warner Theatre, Youngatown, OH in 1931. It was removed from the Warner Theatre in 1963 by Harold Huffamn of Fairfield, OH. Mr. Huffman never installed the organ anywhere and donated it to CIC-ATOS in 2002. In 2003 a gift was given to the Indianapolis Symphony (ISO) to accquire and install a theatre pipe organ back into the Hilbert Circle Theatre. CIC-ATOS donated the Warner organ to the ISO and shortly there after Carlton Smith Pipe Organ Restorations was contracted by the ISO to restore, augment and install the Wurlitzer. The restoration and installation was complete in late 2009. The new Wurlitzer is now 3 manuals and 24 ranks, plus percussion.

GeorgeStrum
GeorgeStrum on April 1, 2010 at 8:22 pm

THS will visit this theatre on June 24th.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on April 1, 2010 at 8:40 pm

I don’t see that back issues of Marquee magazine are available for purchase online. Would I have to contact THS directly for that? Thanks.

JAlex
JAlex on July 17, 2010 at 9:56 am

A phone call to THS can work wonders: (630) 782-1800.

Patsy
Patsy on September 1, 2011 at 9:06 am

Was there another Circle Theatre in Indianapolis that was demolished? Believe it was located downtown near Monument Circle.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 15, 2012 at 10:55 am

Described in this 1916 trade article: archive

BobFurmanek
BobFurmanek on March 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm

Hometown star Bill Shirley attends the local premier of “I Dream of Jeannie” in 1952: http://www.boxoffice.com/the_vault/issue_page?issue_id=1952-6-14&page_no=73#page_start

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 12, 2013 at 4:38 pm

A Three Stooges movie party hosted at the Circle Theatre by a local television personality rated an article with photo in the November 11, 1963, issue of Boxoffice.

DavidAE
DavidAE on August 6, 2014 at 9:50 am

Historic Indianapolis featured a post card from 1918 of the interior of the theater.

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