Fountain Square Theatre

1105 Shelby Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46203

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Additional Info

Architects: Frank Baldwin Hunter, Bennett Kay

Functions: Banquet Hall

Styles: Atmospheric, Italian Renaissance

Nearby Theaters

Fountain Square, Indianapolis, IN

The Fountain Square Theatre was opened on May 6, 1928 as a vaudeville and movie house seating 1,800. It was equipped with a Marr & Colton 3 manual 9 ranks organ. There was a ballroom in the basement. The Fountain Square Theatre was closed April 2, 1960, and then gutted.

The theatre was converted first into a Woolworth’s store then a thrift shop before its restoration and is now used for banquets and swing dancing.

“My father often went there when he was growing up in the late-1930’s to 1940 when he joined the Army and became a soldier in World War II. He returned there in the late-1940’s, and there was a popular soda-pop malt shop built next door to the theatre in the same building. He said he had a lot of fond memories there, including seeing the Hoosier Hot Shots Band perform live onstage there in 1939”.

Contributed by Donald John Long, Cinema Treasures

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

cheerfulheart on April 4, 2004 at 4:44 pm

The Fountain Square Theatre still stands. The website is:

kencmcintyre on August 24, 2006 at 5:37 pm

Here are some photos from the late 40s or early 50s. The last photo shows a different theater, the Granada, in the same vicinity as the Fountain Square. If the Granada is listed under a different name, please let me know the listing:

spectrum on November 13, 2010 at 11:51 am

Contrary to what was said above – it looks like the auditorium was not gutted in the 1950s. The current banquet hall shows a nicely renovated atmospheric auditorium with balcony and priscenium arch. Still have clouds painted on the ceiling. Their history article makes no mention about conversion to a Woolworth’s – they merely mention it going into decline in the 1960s. They renovated it into a banquet hall starting in 1993.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 6, 2014 at 4:57 pm

It looks to me like the entrance to the Fountain Square Theatre is at 1111 Prospect Street, not 1105 Shelby Street. The latter appears to be the address of the attached office building.

Here is the official web site. It says “[c]losed and gutted in the late 1950’s the former theatre space housed a Woolworth five and dime store, then years later a thrift shop.” The current interior is more a reinterpretation than a restoration, although the page also says that some original architectural features remain intact on the mezzanine level. The photo gallery includes one shot of the original interior, and it was quite different from what is there now.

DavidAE on June 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

Three Historic Indianapolis articles on the theatre:

I have to figure out how to do the links like Joe did above.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 7, 2014 at 12:33 am

DavidAE: For those who don’t know HTML, Cinema Treasures now supports Markdown Code, for which you need only square brackets and parentheses to embed a link in your text. Scroll down to the LINKS section of the page to see the example code. All you will need at Cinema Treasures are inline-style links, so all you have to do is put the text you want to become the link in square brackets, and then paste your copied URL between parentheses immediately following the closing bracket.

Here is the Markdown code output for the three links you posted:

Link one

Link two

Link three

DavidAE on June 7, 2014 at 4:27 am

Joe, Thank You

BGoalie30 on January 23, 2015 at 8:51 pm

We filmed our movie WALTER in part at the exterior of this theatre, beautiful place and a great “set-like” street atmosphere too!

rivest266 on October 25, 2015 at 11:47 am

May 6th, 1928 grand opening ad in photo section.

busswt on March 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm

The theatre interior today looks exactly like the old photos. Google maps will allow the user to go inside and see it in color. I had heard there were twinkling stars in the ceiling, and those still show in the Google pictures. It could be some new work was done, but it looks great.

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