Kennedy Theater

6735 Kennedy Avenue,
Hammond, IN 46323

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Kennedy Theater, Hammond, IN

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Kennedy opened in the early 1960’s and was named after the President. A picture of the President adorned the wall opposite the box office and candy counter. It was known (and still is) as the rocking chair theater and could seat around 600. In the late 60’s and early 70’s the Kennedy was best known for showing second run double features.

Everything changed for the theater in December of 1975 when “Jaws” opened and enjoyed a six month run. From then on the Kennedy became a first run theater showing films either exclusive to Northwest Indiana “Midway”, “One on One”, and “Gray Lady Down” come to mind) or sharing a booking with one of the General Cinemas in the area. The theater fell on hard times in the late 80’s into the 90’s so much so that the theater could no longer afford to place ads in one of two major newspapers in the area.

In 1996 the theater was closed and remodeled into a twin by cutting the theatre in half. The seating in each auditorium was now about 200 each. Apparently this failed and the theater closed in 2001.

In early 2002 two families purchased the Kennedy and reopened it. The brick wall with the portrait of the President was removed and mirrors were added. The original seats remain and are badly in need of being replaced as many are broken or just plain uncomfortable. A skybox with around 10 seats were added upstairs for one theater. If you purchase a ticket (at a higher price) to the skybox you get all the popcorn and soda you want for free and it is delivered to you.

Happily, the theater was able to secure some first run films and appears to be doing well.

Contributed by John

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

jeffdal
jeffdal on February 26, 2004 at 2:32 pm

I remember the Kennedy Theater quite well from the late 80’s. My friends and I would drive over to the Kennedy from Munster, Indiana. This was soon after getting my driver license and a car. Must have been about 86-87.

We would go to the Kennedy for cheap movies and double features. I think we paid about .50 to a $1. The movies we saw were definately not first rate…yet fun. I believe they included “April Fools Day” (teenagers in a deserted mansion are being killed off one by one), Adventures in Babysitting (Elisabeth Shue), and Can’t Buy Me Love.

The theater still had it’s rocking chairs (you had to be careful where you sat..SPRINGS!)and picture of President Kennedy was still there. Ironically, I work in Dallas just blocks from where Kennedy was murdered.

KennedyTheatre
KennedyTheatre on July 17, 2004 at 9:12 pm

Hi this is one of the owners of the Kennedy Theatre.
I would like this add to be updated. The seats are high back rockers and hundreds of customers have stated how they like them. When we purchased the theatre we repaired alot of them and still do as needed. The skybox is a balcony with 22 seats and includes unlimited refills on popcorn and pop and is delivered to the customer. We kept low admission and concession prices for the community.

Thank You,
Ron Heller
Owner
219-845-5336
www.kennedytheatre.com

mmiskimins
mmiskimins on November 13, 2004 at 5:52 pm

I have attended several showings of a movies at the Kennedy Theatre in the last year. The seats which were repaired are very comfortable and allow you to have a very enjoyable viewing experience. The movies that they play in the theatre are first rate movies. I have viewed everything from The Village, Shrek 2, Ladder 49, Shall We Dance, Troy, Dodgeball, Anchorman, Catwoman, and others all shortly after or on the release date of the movie. The staff are very friendly. I consider the admission and concession prices to be more then reasonable when compared to other theatres in the area. If you live anywhere nearby the Kennedy Theatre I recommend that you spend the time to watch a movie there.

margmom30
margmom30 on March 20, 2005 at 7:00 pm

My children and I have attended many movies at the Kennedy Theatre over the last few years. I have been very pleased that there have been so many family friendly shows. We have seen Shrek 2, Spiderman 2, Harry Potter 2 and 3, Shark Tale, The Incredibles, Robots, Home on the Range and many others. We all enjoy the outing and I like that it doesnt kill my finances. My kids can buy their concessions with their allowance and still have money left. Since we have started to attend Kennedy we have not gone to any other establishment. I enjoy being able to attend a family run business that cares about their customers. The building itself is looking very nice, the seats are comfortable, and the floors are clean. Thank you to the families who own and run the theatre.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 15, 2009 at 8:27 pm

There is a photo of the Kennedy on this page, close to the bottom.
http://www.duneshore.com/

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 14, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Kennedy Theatre.Wow,They must have really loved President Kennedy.Don’t think it would fly today with the country split like it is.“BUSH I and II theatres”? “OBAMA CINEMAS” ? .nope ,not today.

RichardCWolfe
RichardCWolfe on September 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

They could try to keep everyone happy. Since it’s a twin, maybe they should rename it the PRESIDENT, then call the left auditorium the OBAMA and the right one the BUSH.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 15, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Great! Rick. Love it.

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