Explore the fascinating story of a historic Bloomington theater and the secret to its longevity in The Indiana Theatre at 100.
The Indiana Theatre opened to great applause on December 11, 1922. A crowd of 1,300—nearly ten percent of Bloomington's population at the time—turned out on a cold Monday night to celebrate the theater's opening.
Built by Harry P. Vonderschmitt and his wife Nova, the theater—now known as the Buskirk-Chumley—started out showing silent movies and vaudeville acts. The legendary composer Hoagy Carmichael and his band the Collegians played between shows.
Throughout the theater's existence, it has weathered fires, wars, the Depression, insolvency, and changes in ownership. While many theaters were built in the early 20th century, few remain today. But the Indiana Theatre's ornate façade still graces Kirkwood Avenue in downtown Bloomington.
One hundred years after it first opened, this documentary reveals how the theater continues to thrive, hosting sellout performances of plays, films, comedy acts, and more, while also becoming a favorite of touring performers.