Princess Theatre

206 N. Walnut Street,
Bloomington, IN 47404

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Publix Theaters Corporation, Theatrical Managers Inc., Y. & W. Management Corp.

Architects: John L. Nichols

Firms: Nichols & Son

Functions: Bar, Restaurant

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Princess Theatre

The Princess Theatre was built in 1913. It was equipped with a 2 manual Estay theatre pipe organ. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 as Building number 83000112. The architect is listed as John L. Nichols. The front part of the auditorium and stage house collapsed and condominiums were built on the site. The front and foyer of the building was used as a restaurant, but closed around 2018 when the building was damaged by a fire. It has since reopened as the Alchemy Bar & Restaurant.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Esteyman on April 18, 2006 at 9:07 pm

Does anyone know if the Estey theater organ that was installed in the Princess Theater in Bloomington, IN, is still there?

kencmcintyre on May 22, 2006 at 11:00 pm

It looks like there is (or was) a Mexican restaurant in the lobby:

vpauld on August 27, 2011 at 3:10 pm

The restaurant in this old theater is not called the Princess restaurant as the caption states. It is called El Norteno.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 18, 2014 at 11:22 pm

Bloomingpedia says that John Harris built the Princess Theatre in 1913. It was designed by the firm of Nichols & Nichols. John L. Nichols had previously been in a partnership with his son, Bridge Nichols, who died in 1911. He returned to solo practice in 1914 after his brother, Leo Morton Nichols, left the firm after little more than a year.

In 1923, the Princess was remodeled, again with plans by John Nichols, and an addition doubled the size of the auditorium. The theater closed in 1981. In 1985, the addition to the auditorium collapsed. The building was restored in 1986 and has since served as a restaurant.

DavidAE on August 19, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Esteyman, if my memory serves me correctly, Dennis James removed the organ from the Princess in 1968-69 and installed it in a television studio on IU’s campus where he showed it to me. We were in the Marching 100 at the time.

Found this site that contains the following :“June 8, 1985 – Princess Theatre – 6th and Walnut – No fire, unexpected building collapse. Building was fortunately empty at time of collapse”

DavidAE on May 8, 2018 at 5:49 am

Found this on the Stanford Theatre wed site: Dennis James received his education as an organ performance major at Indiana University (BMus), (MMus), and continued with post graduate studies at Ohio State University and at Arizona State University. While he was in college, Dennis helped restore an Estey pipe organ once played by Hoagy Carmichael that was formerly in the Princess Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana, and he played that organ for campus silent film screenings.

DavidAE on January 4, 2019 at 4:00 am

The Princess Theater transformed into an upscale bar and restaurant called Alchemy. But, it’s now closed because of a fire that caused extensive damage. It’s unclear if the restaurant will reopen. link

DavidAE on July 24, 2022 at 3:40 am

Current information on the Princess plus a little history update. The façade of the theatre was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The front half of the auditorium and stage walls collapsed in 1985. This area was razed and condominiums and commercial storeroom facilities were constructed in their place. The area that once contained the foyer and lobby has been renovated throughout the years for use as a variety of restaurants and was most recently home to a restaurant called the Village Pub.

Denverpalace on December 9, 2022 at 1:28 am

In April 1933 the Federal bankruptcy referee announced that this theater, formerly operated by Publix-Fitzpatrick-McElroy, Inc., was sold to the newly formed Theatrical Managers, Inc. The new company includes veteran theatrical operators V.U. Young of Gary, IN, and C.J. Wolf of Wheeling, WV; and Pierre Goodrich and Leslie Colvin, both of Indianapolis.

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