Morris Performing Arts Center

211 N. Michigan Street,
South Bend, IN 46601

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rivest266 on January 20, 2019 at 10:53 am

This closed as Palace in 1955 as no newspaper ads were found after that.

gill on March 2, 2013 at 9:01 am

There is an excellent 1928 photo of The Palace Theatre on the Theatre’s page. Here’s a link to the page.

kevyzim on July 12, 2012 at 7:38 am

I have many fond memories of seeing a lot of ‘up and coming’ rock bands play at the Morris Civic Auditorium (as it was called then) in the early 70’s, including Kiss, Blue Oyster Cult, Bloodrock, Black Oak Arkansas, Alice Cooper, Foghat and Van Halen. I have not been inside since the recent renovations, but I am glad to see that South Bend has had the reverence for this grand old theater and that it is still being used for performances today.

Erasmus on June 19, 2012 at 8:47 am

In the 50s and 60s, each South Bend theater seemed to specialize in a particular kind of film. The Granada was for the serious grown-up movies and epics, like the Ten Commandments. The Palace ran all of the horror films and some of the teenage movies. The Palace and the State both ran Saturday morning kids’ cartoon shows that cost about a quarter to get into. The State ran a lot of Westerns. The Colfax ran Jerry Lewis, Doris Day, etc. The River Park did a lot of second-run movies so that you could see them when you missed them the first time. And the Avon ran soft porn and art films. The drive-ins showed all kinds of schlock, since few members of the audience cared what was on the screen.

sam siklas
sam siklas on April 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm

In it’s time as the Palace theater, this theater is one of 3 theaters in South Bend which shared the premier of “Knute Rockne All American”. The Granada theater directly across the street from the Palace, and the Colfax theater, located around the corner from the Palace on W. Colfax were the other two. A fourth theater to house the films' premier was the Fox theater in Philadelphia,( as mentioned in the Cinema Treasures article on that theater). The Morris is the only one of the four to survive today.

sam siklas
sam siklas on November 22, 2011 at 9:56 am

Not only is the Morris renovation complete, but the adjoining Palais Royale ballroom has been fully restored. It is used frequently, including a New Years Eve. gala every year.

GeorgeStrum on March 13, 2010 at 4:13 pm

THS will be visiting here the week of 6/22/10-6/29/10.

Sontaran6 on February 13, 2009 at 5:09 pm

Seven weeks later, the Morris still hasn’t been cross-listed with the other 367 “Palace” theaters, where most old-timers will look for it. Too bad!

Sontaran6 on December 22, 2008 at 2:49 pm

Cinema Treasures should cross-list the Morris under the name “Palace Theatre”, which is the name by which many old-timers remember it. I know there are gazillions of other “Palace” theaters listed under that name, but that’s precisely why it is frustrating to dig through the whole pile without finding South Bend’s “Palace”.

jimvid on December 10, 2008 at 9:41 am

here are few recent photos:
View link

Patsy on July 19, 2007 at 5:47 pm

Any interior photos?

BrooklynJim on June 26, 2006 at 1:12 pm

Today, in a short 23-minute B&W video tape that I received from MAHP, the former Palace Theatre in South Bend lived on again in 1927 for a few seconds.

Mid-American Historical Preservation Foundation, located in Whiting, IN, has been issuing a few gems of late on DVD and video. Some deal with railroads, interurbans and trolleys (some of my passions, which include Samuel Insull’s former empire), but theaters occasionally pop up as they existed then in all their glory.

For those interested, I’d won my copy on eBay for a mere $8.99, very reasonable for Time Machine rates. For more info, contact Betty at:

Patsy on June 10, 2005 at 5:36 pm

Jim: Great site with so many beautiful theatre photos!

JimRankin on June 10, 2005 at 9:49 am

Recent color photos of this theatre can be found on the site: “America’s Stunning Theatres” by photographer and stagehand Noah Kern at: Comments and information may be left there without registration; such can be public view or only to Mr. Kern. Scroll down the page to find the name, and then click on the sample image above it to be taken to the page of photos of it.

William on April 20, 2005 at 11:53 am

The Palace Theatre opened on November 2nd. 1922.

Patsy on February 4, 2005 at 12:11 pm

You are a walking encyclopedia of theatre trivia, Bill so thanks for your CT contributions as I truly enjoy reading them! BTW, did read about the Gayety in Boston….another Mayor who doesn’t seem to have a theatre brain! LOL!

megafishnd on February 4, 2005 at 11:31 am

I should mention that although South Bend did manage to save two theatres, we have lost alot. Gone are the Colfax, Granada, Lyric, Auditorium, Indiana, and a couple of others I can’t even remember right now. On the verge of going is the little Avon theatre down the street from the Morris which started life in the ‘20’s as the Strand. See its description which I submitted to This one, unfortunately, is probably to be demolished.

megafishnd on February 4, 2005 at 11:26 am

South Bend was smart enough to save two great theatres, this, the former Palace theater, and the State two blocks down the street. The State is still theatre-like inside and was nicely restored, but didn’t make it as a theatre, so they made it into a large night club. I’m at the Morris all the time as I live one mile down the street and I’m on their waiting list to be a volunteer usher. Love the place! Don’t know whatever became of E.M. Morris, but I want to research this in the future. I am amazed that no modern day version of E.M. Morris came along to save the Tivoli with all the money floating around these two cities. Sad.

Patsy on February 4, 2005 at 11:13 am

The Morris PAC official website is interesting especially the Historical Photo Gallery with b/w photos and story of the premier of KNUTE ROCKNE All American and the fans who came to see the actors and actresses who appeared for a photo shoot in front of the theatre on October 4,1940. Great memories and tribute to an Indiana theatre that is still with us! Thank goodness!

Patsy on February 4, 2005 at 11:04 am

Was E. M. Morris not around in 2005 to save the Tivoli as she saved the former Palace Theatre?

Patsy on February 4, 2005 at 11:02 am

Bill: Clicked on your profile and found this theatre in South Bend. Interesting to note that SB has their theatre yet couldn’t save a fellow ‘brother or sister’, the Tivoli! So so very sad!

megafishnd on May 25, 2004 at 10:00 am

Oh, and this theatre started life as part of the Orpheum theatre chain.

megafishnd on May 25, 2004 at 9:55 am

Here’s some info from their website. This beautiful place was built in 1922 and is a mix of styles including Baroque, Art Deco, Spanish Rennaisance, and Greco-Roman. There are 2501 seats or 2560 if they use the pit for seating. I saw Brad Paisley (country singer) here last Saturday, May 22, 2004 and was in the first row pit. He pulled me on stage because of my t-shirt (Notre Dame) and I had the great opportunity to stand on stage and look out over the audience of 2100 people all looking at me in this beautiful place. Once in a lifetime experience! I live 1 mile from here so I’m in this theatre all the time and I just recently volunteered as an usher and am awaiting the phone call for my first show as an usher. Come see this place, it’s worth the trip! One intesting piece of trivia…someone bombed the restaurant that was once on the corner attached to this theatre in 1935. It was called the Palace Cafe and the bombs (3 of them) were set off by the owner as part of an insurance scam. I think he went to jail but I’m 100 percent sure on this. The bombs didn’t damage the theatre, fortunately, but they really trashed the restaurant. Bricks everywhere. Incidently, they are currently renovating that space and will be opening a new restaurant (The Vine) shortly. They also announced recently that they will be opening a little restaurant in the basement of the main theatre to be open for lunch only Monday through Friday and they will serve Panini sandwiches along with a bunch of other stuff. Opening day is June 14, 2004 and I’ll be there. My job at Memorial Hospital is just a short way down the street. Great to see this theatre thriving when so many have disappeared over the years. Wish this could happen in all the cities!!! One cool thing….I got a brick that was once part of this theatre when they added on a huge stagehouse to accomodate modern rock groups and all the stuff they bring along with them. Recent bands to play here in which I was in attendance: Jethro Tull, Gordon Lightfoot, Brad Paisley, Sevendust (tomorrow night and I’m in the first row pit, again), Alice Cooper, Chicago, Queensryche, Godsmack (4th row for this one), Train, Ted Nugent (VERY loud), REO Speedwagon (front row pit), Sammy Hagar, The South Bend Symphony, Cats, The Nutcracker, Snow White, Opera La Boheme (Verdi), The Sound of Music. Upcoming in July: Jewel, John Fogerty, Eddie Money. I’m broke from buying tickets, but I love this theatre!