Sourwine Theater

22 S. Walnut Street,
Brazil, IN 47834

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Sourwine Opera House

Nearby Theaters

called the Brazil Opera House in this old postcard

The Sourwine Opera House was opened in summer of 1907. Later renamed Sourwine Theatre, it was destroyed by fire in early-1947. The Cooper Theatre (now Walnut Theatre) was built on the site.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

AndrewBarrett on January 28, 2015 at 5:10 pm

Aw dang! At least the Walnut is still standing and in use, and so is the Lark (another nice old theatre).

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 629, the “Sourwine Th.” in Brazil, Indiana, had a two-manual Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1919. The size of this instrument (# of ranks) is not given in the book (not known at the time of publication). This organ had Kinetic blower serial #G381, which was 2 horsepower and delivered 10" of static wind pressure.

Does anybody know what happened to this organ, and where it, and/or its parts, is/are today? Thanks!

I can no longer see the postcard view of the Sourwine. Does someone else have an additional view to share, or could they re-upload the postcard to another site besides Ancestry? (the site where the postcard was originally posted). Thanks!

From whence deriveth the theatre name “Sourwine”? There must be a great story in there somewhere!!!

RickB on January 29, 2015 at 4:35 am

Sourwine and Sauerwein appear to be actual surnames, so my first guess would be that the theater was named for its owner.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 25, 2015 at 11:19 pm

The December, 1906, issue of The Ohio Architect and Builder reported that John D. Sourwine of Terre Haute would advertise for bids on the new opera house he was building at Brazil. The house was expected to be ready to open by summer of 1907.

Here is an early postcard image of the Sourwine Opera House from Indiana Memory.

The Sourwine Theatre was destroyed by a fire in early 1947. The Cooper Theatre was built on its site.

Skoufysgirl01 on November 22, 2016 at 8:13 pm


Dr. John D Sourwine is my first cousin, once removed. My last name is Sourwine. Our first Sauerwein ancestor landed in the US in the mid 1700’s, from Germany. I always thought my last name was rare, until I started genealogy. There is actually a fascinating story with John D Sourwine’s grandmother’s side. If you look up Philip Blockhouse Klingensmith, you will find the story of his homestead being invaded by an Indian tribe, and two of his sons being kidknapped. There isnmuch more to the story. The original cabin or “blockhouse” still stands in a historic town, in Pennsylvania, called “Historic Hanna’s Town”.

SethG on June 8, 2021 at 10:08 am

As can sort of be made out on some of the postcard views, the auditorium ran transversely behind the storefronts. The stage was at the north wall, and was quite deep, while one or possibly two curved balconies faced it from the south. There were seven storefronts with offices above. The central storefront was the theater entrance. It appears that a hallway ran behind the southern storefronts, and led to a stair to the balcony. The building was split roughly 50/50 between commercial space and the auditorium.

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