Wigton Theatre

201 N. Detroit Street,
LaGrange, IN 46761

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Wigton Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Wigton Opera House was opened in 1915. By 1926 it had been renamed Wigton Theatre. It was still open in 1957.

In 2015 the building is in use as a clothes & foodbank charity store.

Contributed by Khnemu

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 25, 2015 at 2:59 am

This item appeared in the January, 1916, issue of The Classical Journal, an academic journal which is still being published:

“LaGrange.—Professor Miller’s Dido, the Phoenician Queen was presented with great success at the Wigton Theater by Latin students of the LaGrange High School, on November 12. Miss Marion Nelson appeared in the title r61e. Dale LeCount took the part of Aeneas.”
A James M. Wigton was listed as the manager of the La Grange Opera House in the 1912-1913 edition of the Cahn-Leighton guide. The Wigton Opera House in La Grange was soon to open, according to an item in the September 18, 1915, issue of The Music Trade Review. It’s possible that the theater was new in 1915, or it might be that Mr. Wigton had taken over the Opera House he had been managing in 1912 and renamed it for himself. Either way, it’s probable that the Wigton Opera House of 1915 was the same house as the later Wigton Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm

Comparing the vintage photo of the theater with the current Google street view, it’s clear that the Wigton Theatre was at the northeast corner of N. Detroit Street (IN-9) and E. Michigan Street. The building there now houses the store of a charitable organization called the Clothes & Food Basket of LaGrange County. It’s at 201 N. Detroit Street. The building is clad in a modern skin (probably aluminum and probably dating from the 1960s) even on its back wall, but I suspect that it is the old theater building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 25, 2015 at 9:45 pm

An article in the March 15, 1907, issue of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette said that the LaGrange Opera House had been closed and put up for sale. The article describes the house as “…a fairly good brick structure, at corner of Detroit and Michigan Streets….” which had been built about eighteen years earlier. The auditorium was on the ground floor and there was also a gallery, the total seating capacity being about 1,000. Another article later that year said the house was being renovated and that boxes would be added.

The other two buildings at that intersection, both quite old, don’t fit the theater’s description, and the fourth corner is part of the Courthouse square, so the Opera House was on the same site, and probably in the same building, that later became the Wigton Theatre.

Granola on January 4, 2018 at 2:34 pm


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