517 Main Street,
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Astra Theatre (Official)
Architects: Frank E. Fowler, Ralph E. Legeman
Firms: Fowler & Legeman
Functions: Live Performances, Live Theatre, Movies (Classic)
Styles: Art Deco
Single ownership theatre since opening on April 17, 1936 with Loretta Young in “The Unguarded Hour”. It was twinned on November 22, 1985 and closed in 2002 with Kate Bosworth in “Blue Crush” showing in one of the screens.
It was purchased in November 2015 by a theatre group who carried our renovations and it was de-twinned. It reopened April 18, 2018 and opened to the public April 21, 2018. Seating is provided on orchestra and balcony levels.
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Recent comments (view all 10 comments)
still for sale $185,000.00
Dolby Digital adverts in lobby. Still for sale. Sign in lobby door: F.C. Tucker/Kerstiens Realty, 812-630-3800, 812-482-1424. Looks like the canopy was originally open beneath and had exterior walls added. Ticket booth/kiosk is immediately inside those doors and has ornate gold top. Not much room in that miniscule space. People would have undoubtedly had to stand outside with the door continuously open to buy a ticket. From a small portion of exterior architecture, it loks like the back wall may be deeply curved. Also, it looks like the area that would be under the stage has been finished and is a store front on the back of the theatre on Newton street. A dog grooming place. Door immediately has inside curved stairs down. Storefront consists of windows from the level of the sidewalk up to your hip.
Status: Nothing’s changed. I was told today by someone who’d been inside of it with the realtor on a tour about 6 years ago that the insides are nothing fancy, the booth equipment is gone but the chairs are still there but beat up.
He also said one thing that kept them afloat (other than being in Jasper [a moviegoing town]) was that they had Titanic.
No pun intended, I presume.
Oh my God, I did not even catch that. So.. yes, no pun intended.
That did used to be open beneath the canopy, and you did indeed have to stand outside on the sidewalk to buy tickets at the Astra. The first time I ever saw ‘Bambi’ was at the Astra, in 1966 or ‘67. I remember vividly standing with my mother in line, partway down the block in front of those shops on the right hand side. IIRC, once you got your ticket, there were doors on either side of the ticket kiosk to enter the lobby. Once you got inside, you were in a long, narrow lobby, with lots of gold. The refreshment counter was to your left, the doors to the main auditorium to your right. The main auditorium had these art deco lighting fixtures that were dimly lit with pastels during the movie. They’d slowly change colors over the course of ten or fifteen minutes. The unusual yellow brick of which the theater is built was produced in the neighboring town of Huntingburg, where I grew up.
As an update the Astra has been purchased November of 2015 by The Next Act non-profit to be reopened as a community theater. The plans will include movies, live music, live performances, and anything else the community can come up with. It is still in decent shape but we are currently working on fundraising to perform much needed renovations. It’s been an amazing project for our group and if you want to learn more visit our website at www.thenextact.org. We can’t wait to share this special building with everyone so we do hold events whenever possible!
Grand opening ad: Astra theatre opening Fri, Apr 17, 1936 – 3 · The Herald (Jasper, Indiana) · Newspapers.com
This reopened as a twin cinema on November 22nd, 1985. Grand opening ad posted.