Parthenon Theatre

5144 S. Hohman Avenue,
Hammond, IN 46320

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PARTHENON Theatre, Hammond, Indiana in 1952.

The Parthenon Theatre was opened on March 14, 1921, originally seating over 2,500, it was the second-largest of Hammond’s movie theatres, after the 3,000-plus seat State Theatre. It was originally operated as part of the Warner Brothers circuit, one of their earliest houses outside of California.

Opening night’s program featured 5-acts of vaudeville from the Orpheum Circuit, a couple of film shorts, and the Douglas Fairbanks feature “The Nut”.

The luxurious and highly ornate neo-Italian Renaissance/Baroque style Parthenon Theatre quickly gained the nickname of “The Wonder Theatre”, not only screening the best first-run features with sound by 1927, but vaudeville into the 1930’s, many of the most famous big bands of the 1930’s and 1940’s, and celebrities such as Harry Houdini, Jack Benny and even Rin-Tin-Tin, the most famous canine star of Hollywood until Lassie.

The Parthenon Theatre’s spacious auditorium featured one of the earliest Hammond movie houses with unobstructed sight lines, thanks to its large reinforced steel and concrete balcony, which seated well over 1,200 alone. It was equipped with a Kimball 2 manual 11 ranks organ. Its lobby spaces could fit more than 1,000 patrons, and all the Parthenon Theatre’s public areas were richly decorated, like a Renaissance era princely palace, and furnished with the finest artwork and furniture, including caged songbirds in the main lobby.

By the late-1960’s, and into the 1970’s, the Parthenon Theatre began to be used more for rock concerts than as a movie house, beginning in 1967, when Sonny and Cher appeared on stage to promote their movie “Good Times”. During the 1970’s, groups as diverse as KISS and Rush played at the Parthenon Theatre.

After closing in the early-1980’s, the longest-lasting of downtown Hammond’s great movie palaces was sadly demolished in 1983, and the site has remained an empty plot of land.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 21, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Here is an April 1960 ad from the Hammond Times:

RegionRat on February 26, 2010 at 11:58 pm

It’s not even a parking lot. It’s a useless grassy area right next to the downtown Hammond overpass.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 17, 2011 at 3:32 am

Several vintage photos of the Parthenon Theatre can be seen on this web page. The text on the page is mostly quoted from Cinema Treasures, so there’s no new information available.

HHS59 on May 20, 2012 at 7:04 am

You can still visit The Parthenon Theater in Hammond, Indiana by visiting:

Click on the movie poster of Cary Grant and you will go inside to watch a movie clip. Pretty clever, eh?

Visit the Hammond Theater District (tab) and see other movies from other Hammond Theaters.

If you have any stories, pictures, etc. to add to this array of Hammond movie houses, please share them with us.

Thank you.


DavidZornig on May 25, 2014 at 2:18 pm

Several photos added via the Planet Hammond Facebook page.

Broan on April 21, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Architect was E.P. Rupert for R. Levine & Co.

Broan on April 21, 2016 at 7:19 pm

Rapp & Rapp did the remodel. Maybe not George & Cornelius by that point in time.

rivest266 on July 22, 2017 at 4:31 pm

This opened on March 14th, 1921. Grand opening ad below:

Found on

also the photo section.

DavidZornig on September 7, 2018 at 10:30 pm

Address should be changed to 5144 S. Hohman Avenue.

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