Apollo Theatre

15-17 N. Illinois Street,
Indianapolis, IN 46204

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Additional Info

Architects: Arthur Bohn, O.N. Mueller, Kurt Vonnegut Sr.

Firms: Vonnegut, Bohn & Mueller

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Apollo Theatre

The Apollo Theatre opened on May 27, 1922. It was located in downtown Indianapolis on N. Illinois Street just off Indianapolis Avenue. For many years the Apollo Theatre was one of the leading downtown movie theatres. It was the exclusive theatre for Shirley Temple, W.C. Fields and the Marx Brothers movies. Although the Circle Theatre was the first theatre to to show a sound movie “The Jazz Singer”, the Apollo Theatre was the first to be wired for sound. The first regular sound feature was shown on April 21, 1928, “Tenderloin”. The film was from Warner Brothers starring Conrad Nagel.

For a time in 1940 the Apollo Theatre became the only newsreel theatre in Indianapolis. It closed on April 11, 1940, claiming it was unable to get first run product. It later became a Three Sisters department store.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on October 13, 2005 at 1:18 pm

The Film Daily Yearbook;1940 edition list the Apollo Theatre, 17 N. Illinois Street, Indianapolis with 1,200 seats. The 1943 edition of F.D.Y. still has it listed with the same details but (Closed).

croghand on July 12, 2006 at 1:29 pm

town down 2 years ago, replaced witha conrad hilton hotel

kencmcintyre on July 19, 2006 at 11:41 pm

Here is an early photo of the Apollo:

kencmcintyre on September 2, 2006 at 3:36 am

The theater is behind the streetcar in this 1938 photo:

kencmcintyre on March 20, 2009 at 6:30 pm

This is part of an ad in the 5/27/22 edition of the Indianapolis Star. The feature was “Bachelor Daddy”. Note the misspelling of inaugural in the ad.

rivest266 on July 1, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Grand opening ad uploaded

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2017 at 9:49 pm

The records of Hugh J. Baker & Company, fabricator of structural and reinforcing steel and concrete, list Vonnegut, Bohn & Meuller as the architects of the Apollo. The firm’s co-founder (with Arthur Bohn), Bernard Vonnegut, died in 1908, and his son, Kurt Vonnegut Sr., became a principal of the firm in 1910. O. N. Mueller joined the firm later. Vonnegut Sr. was the lead architect on most of the firms projects.

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