Glen Theater

20 W. Ridge Road,
Gary, IN 46408

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Glen Theater, Gary, IN - marquee

The Ridge Theater sat just off the corner of Broadway Avenue on W. Ridge Road in Gary, IN. It opened in late-1941. It was renovated in 1968, reopening as the Glen Theatre with Disney’s “The Happiest Millionaire” starring Tommy Steele. The theater was an instant success playing first run and revival films. Some weekends they would have kid shows in the mornings and action films for midnight shows. The Glen Theater most often played the first run Walt Dinsey films of the 1970’s. I can remember going to see “Sword in the Stone”, “The Apple Dumpling Gang”, “Herbie Rides Again”, and “One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing”.

Sometimes they would play first run action films that would show up at the area drive-ins. I can remember seeing “Race with the Devil” there. The Glen’s biggest attraction came relatively early in its life when they showed “Airport” for 10 weeks. In the mid-1970’s the Glen Theater started experimenting with X-rated films and by 1977 had gone to porno altogether. The theater closed in 1981 amid gang activity and violence in the area.

In 1983 a Bible group reopened the Glen Theater to show religous films such as “Ben-Hur” and “The Ten Commandments”. That failed miserably and the doors closed for good just a month later. The marquee said ‘Reopening Soon’ and stayed that way for almost twenty years.

The last time I drove by, the marquee was blank and a big sign on the boarded up door said the building was going to be renovated for a public theater sight for the future. The Glen Theater re-opened October 13, 2007 with a concert by Deniece Williams. It will be a live performace theatre catering mainly the the African-American population. It had closed by March 2016. By November 2017 it was hosting special events.

Contributed by John

Recent comments (view all 35 comments)

augie53 on April 21, 2013 at 8:03 am

Prior to the Glen, when did it open as the Ridge? I remember seeing many scary movies there:)

JRS40 on April 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

It was never the Ridge. The Ridge was located on Broadway at Ridge Road.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

JRS40: The theater around the corner on Broadway was the Roxy, not the Ridge. The Glen was called the Ridge when it opened. Your older brothers told you, and that’s how I found out that the Ridge and the Glen were the same theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm

augie53: This theater was opened as the Ridge Theatre in very late 1941 or very early 1942. It was probably renamed the Glen Theatre after a 1968 remodeling. See my earlier comment here for citations.

JRS40 on April 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Joe – you are absolutely right. I don’t know what I was thinking when I wrote that.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2013 at 3:33 pm

JRS: Do you know anything about the building at 2224 Broadway? It now houses a social club, but it looks very much like it might have been a theater at one time. Cinema Treasures has nothing listed for the address, and I can’t find anything about it on the Internet.

Also, this old building at 17th and Broadway looks like a former theater. The building still appears in Street View, taken in August, 2011, but the lot appears to be vacant in the satellite view, which is probably more recent, so I think it must have been demolished since the Street View was made.

JRS40 on April 22, 2013 at 11:55 am

Unfortunately I don’t know anything about either building Joe. They appear to have been around for many, many years. There are very few theaters I have memories of in Gary….even past ones.

Trolleyguy on April 12, 2016 at 8:57 am

Status should be closed. Website down. Person who answered phone said it was closed.

Giftedguru1970 on December 2, 2017 at 2:58 pm

Status should be changed. Facebook page showing events this fall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 11, 2019 at 2:08 pm

Here’s a brief item about the Ridge Theatre from The Film Daily of July 3, 1941:

“V. U. Young is building a new 700-seater in Gary, Ind. It will be known as the Ridge. RCA Photophone sound is being readied for installation.”
An opening before the end of 1941 seems very likely.

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