Grand Theater

790 Broadway,
Gary, IN 46402

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Balaban & Katz Corp., Paramount Pictures Inc.

Previous Names: Grand Theatre

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The 50ftx125ft Paine Building stood at the Northwest corner of W. 8th Avenue and Broadway as early as 1908 when it housed a hardware store. In March 1912 the Simon brothers and Samuel J. Watson leased the Paine Building and converted the low-ceiling former hardware store into an up-to-date 600-seat theatre. The Grand Theater opened in September 1912. Local showman V.U. Young began managing the Grand Theater in June 1915 for its owners. It was equipped with a Bartola Orchestra instrument. In August 1919 Simon Brothers Amusement Company sold the Grand Theater to Peter Kalleres, Peter Loupas and two other Gary businessmen for $16,000. In 1924 it was equipped with a Barton 2 manual organ. Kalleres would guide the Grand Theater for nearly 24 years as manager for Gregory Enterprises and manager/co-owner with the Grand Theatre Company, Grand Amusement Company, City Amusement Company and Steel City Amusement. In June 1937, Kalleres, Loupas & Christ Pannos incorporated Garyana Amusement Corporation, which became co-owner of the Grand Theater along with the B&K/John Balaban subsidy of Paramount Pictures Inc. Until his death in January 1943, Kelleres served as B&K city manager, tending both the Grand Theater and affiliated State Theater when it opened in October 1937. Tula Kalleres, his widow succeeded him.

The Grand Theater was a first-run showplace for many years, booking MGM,, Paramount, Warner Brothers & United Artists films. That role was shared with the State Theater in its early years. The Grand Theater eventually became a second-run theatre to complement the State Theater. The Paine Building was demolished in the mid-1960’s.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Denverpalace

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 1, 2009 at 11:18 pm

A Grand Theatre was in operation in Gary at least as early as 1919. The obituary of Peter Kalleres, long time Gary theater operator, in the January 23, 1943, issue of Boxoffice said that he had acquired the Grand in 1919, the year after he arrived in Gary.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2013 at 5:11 pm

A history of Lake County, Indiana, published in 1915 mentions the Grand Theatre, then operated by the Simon brothers. It started as a stock and vaudeville theater, but by 1915 was devoted exclusively to movies.

Pkalleres on February 6, 2016 at 5:20 pm

After My Grandfather (Popoui) died my Grandmother (Yia Yia) ran both The Grand and State for several years with two boys! Amazing Woman Tula was!!!

Denverpalace on February 25, 2023 at 7:09 pm

The Grand and nearby Cosmo merged under one management in September 1922 when Cosmo owner Nick Bikos sold the theater to Kalleres’s Grand Theatre Company. The two theaters were redecorated and managed by Kalleres. In January 1923 the S.J. Gregory Amusement Company was operating the Grand and Cosmo in Gary and the Parthenon in Hammond.

Denverpalace on March 2, 2023 at 7:30 pm

In August 1925, three months before the sprawling John Eberson-designed Palace would open across the street, hundreds attended the reopening of the remodeled Grand. In November 1926 Peter Kalleres offered Mary Paine $355,000 for the Paine Building. In January 1927 the Grand joined the Illinois and Indiana Theaters booking circuit, formerly Earl Johnson Theaters.

Denverpalace on March 9, 2023 at 7:14 pm

In October 1928 Peter Kalleres’s Grand Amusement Company took over the Grand, which had been in the hands of receivers since August when the Gregory-Bernasek circuit was thrown into receivership. Jim Bikos operated the theater after Grand Amusement. In December 1929 the Grand was equipped for sound and City Amusement Company was incorporated by Kalleres, George Anthoulis and Ernest Force. City Amusement acquired the Grand in February 1930 from Jim Bikos.

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