Colfax Theatre

213 W. Colfax Avenue,
South Bend, IN 46601

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Colfax Theater South Bend, Indiana

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This theater was built as a vaudeville and movie house, opening on August 5, 1928, with 2,100 seats. It was one of the first theaters in the United States to be built for sound films. It was accoustically a great theater, but it was unfortunately demolished in 1994.

Contributed by Phil Patnaude

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 2, 2007 at 7:40 am

Knute Rockne All American was released in October of 1940.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm

A Wurlitzer theater organ opus 1903 style BAL 2 was installed in the Colfax Theater on 6/30/1928. Status: Sold.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 15, 2008 at 8:53 am

Here is an updated link for the photo posted on Oct 12, 2005.

cinemabon
cinemabon on April 29, 2009 at 4:26 pm

I saw “War and Peace” shown on two different nights at the Colfax theater… a marathon event. It literally had a cast of thousands.

Sontaran6
Sontaran6 on June 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm

There’s irony here. The Google Map picture topping this page shows the current South Bend Tribune building squatting on the site. The SBT demolished the lovely and historic Colfax Theatre, listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, to put up its brick hulk. Sic transit gloria mundi….. Sigh!

Dana_62
Dana_62 on September 1, 2011 at 11:47 am

I’d like to know if anyone rescued the projection equipment that was moved into the lobby before the place was demolished. There was a very old special effects machine amonst the pieces. It had a color wheel, glass slide transport(for announcements and sing-alongs) and a cloud tank.

sam siklas
sam siklas on December 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm

The WurliTzer from the Colfax was sold in 1963 to Gunther H. Hille of Canfeild Ohio.He installed it in his home, and played it until he passed away. His family then donated it to the American Organ Institute, of the University Of Oklahoma, Norman,Ok. More information is available on their website . There are some photos of the console and pipes included in the article. == Sam ==

rivest266
rivest266 on June 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm

State of Indiana photo uploaded here.

kevyzim
kevyzim on July 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I grew up in Mishawaka/South Bend. I remember seeing “Earthquake” at the Colfax in 1974, probably shortly before it was closed for good. The movie was in “Sensurround” which meant that there were bass reflex speakers on the stage pounding out vibrating waves of sound which also loosened some plaster in the old theater’s ceiling! I remember thinking ‘Wow this is really realistic – I feel like the building is coming down!’

Though not quite the showplace that the Granada or State theaters were, I do remember the lobby of the Colfax as being quite cozy. I would love to see more pictures from the heyday if anyone has any.

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