Garden Theater

3424 Main Street,
East Chicago, IN 46312

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GARDEN Theatre; East Chicago, Illinois.

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The old Garden was built in 1918 as a silent movie house and showed films for eight decades. But as the neighborhood began to change, the theater’s fortunes grew dim. After years of struggling, the Garden Theatre finally closed. The theater was sold, resold and finally auctioned off in 2000 to its current owners.

One of the owners, Pete Torres, is from East Chicago and had plans to twin the theater and show English and Spanish-language films. Ultimately, though, the cost of repairs would have reached $500,000, and, without support from the city or other sources, the project became unfeasible.

The building languished into 2001 and in January it was declared structurally unsafe by the East Chicago Board of Public Works. Sadly, the city never declared the building a landmark and it was demolished.

With the destruction of the Garden Theatre, the last movie palace in the East Chicago area has faded into the past.

Contributed by Ross Melnick

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on October 26, 2001 at 5:35 pm

Just to set things straight, East Chicago is really across the state line and is in Indiana.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on June 10, 2014 at 9:23 am

At one time East Chicago was known as Indiana Harbor, IN.

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