Parthenon Theatre

5142 S. Hohman Avenue,
Hammond, IN 46320

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PARTHENON Theatre, Hammond, Indiana  - early 1950s.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Parthenon was opened on 19th March 1921, originally seating over 2500, it was the second-largest of Hammond’s movie theaters, after the 3000-plus seat State. It was originally operated as part of the Warner Brothers circuit, one of their earliest houses outside of California.

Opening night’s program several vaudeville and musical acts, a couple of film shorts, and the Douglas Fairbanks feature, “The Nut”.

The luxurious and highly ornate neo-Italian Renaissance Baroque style Parthenon quickly gained the nickname of “The Wonder Theatre”, not only screening the best first-run features, with sound by 1927, but vaudeville into the 30s, many of the most famous big bands of the 30s and 40s, and celebrities such as Harry Houdini, Jack Benny and even Rin-Tin-Tin, the most famous canine star of Hollywood until Lassie.

The Parthenon’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 sat well over 1200 alone. Its lobby spaces could fit more than 1000 patrons, and all the Parthenon’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 60s, and into the 70s, the Parthenon 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 70s, groups as diverse as KISS and Rush played at the Parthenon.

After closing in the early 80s, the longest-lasting of downtown Hammond’s great movie palaces was sadly demolished in 1983, replaced by a parking lot.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 14 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 29, 2007 at 4:28 pm

This website has some information on this theater along with stress test photos of the balcony during construction.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 1, 2007 at 10:47 pm

You can see the Parthenon Theater marquee in this 1960s photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 27, 2007 at 4:32 pm

A Kimball theater organ opus KPO 6569 size 2/11 was installed in the Parthenon Theater in 1921.

JimSchu
JimSchu on December 22, 2007 at 11:18 am

I have few pictures of the Paramount on my Flickr page:http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimschuster/

JimSchu
JimSchu on December 22, 2007 at 11:19 am

oops I meant to say I have pictures of the Parthenon

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on September 22, 2008 at 8:00 am

Here is an April 1960 ad from the Hammond Times:
http://tinyurl.com/52sbq9

RegionRat
RegionRat on February 27, 2010 at 8:58 am

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 12:32 pm

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
HHS59 on May 20, 2012 at 4:04 pm

You can still visit The Parthenon Theater in Hammond, Indiana by visiting: www.hhs59.com/parthenon.htm

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.

Rich

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