6735 Kennedy Avenue,
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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.
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