Indian Hills Theatre

8601 W. Dodge Road,
Omaha, NE 68114

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Indian Hills Theatre - interior

The Indian Hills Theatre was designed by architect Richard L. Crowther for Cooper Foundation and was one of just a handful of theatres designed especially for 3-strip Cinerama in the 1960’s. It debuted on December 21, 1962 with Laurence Harvey in “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm”. It featured a 105-foot wide screen (the largest in the US). In 1977 a second screen named Cameo Theatre was built and opened adjacent to the main theatre. Under later management two more screens were built adjacent to the main one.

Carmike Cinemas closed the Indian Hills Theatre in October, 2000, as it was supposedly one of many under-performing theatres the chain was forced to shed. Unfortunately, the theatre was just months away from completing a major renovation that included new seats, drapery, and an SDDS/DTS-capable sound system.

Efforts to restore the theatre back to its Cinerama roots with a 70mm projector were unsuccesful when Methodist Health Systems purchased the theatre. Announcing in June, 2001 that the building would cost over $1 million to renovate, Methodist decided to demolish the theatre despite numerous protests from all over the world and from such luminaries as Leonard Maltin, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Ray Bradbury and many more. It was demolished on August 20, 2001 for a parking lot.

The Indian Hills Theatre was not only an Omaha landmark, but a treasured reminder of the architecture of the time and the exuberance that such technology inspired in the 1960’s.

Contributed by Bruce Crawford, Larry Karstens, Steven Dawes

Recent comments (view all 54 comments)

TorstenAdair on January 31, 2012 at 11:26 am

Theater Houses ‘Round Town Omaha World-Herald (NE) – Sunday, June 16, 1985

“Indian Hills

8601 West Dodge Road, 393 – 5555. Two screens. (The smaller auditorium is called the Cameo.) Tickets are $2 for showings that start before 6 p.m., otherwise $4 except $2 for those younger than 14 or older than 59. Matinees on weekends and major holidays, and during summer and winter school vacations."

70s_moviegoer on March 15, 2013 at 11:52 am

My all-time favorite theater. Right down the street from where I lived as a teen on 84th st. Saw Alien there on opening day 5/25/1979. The Shining on 6/13/1980. Wonderfully huge screen, great seating. An icon lost forever.

Denvercary on March 22, 2014 at 6:36 pm

I have three Cinerama projectors and a Cinerama sound reproducer like the ones that were installed at the three Cooper Cinerama Theaters during the three-strip Cinerama days. If anybody would like to see them, please contact me at . I would be happy to show them to you. Or, I’ll be happy to send photographs to you.

DavidZornig on October 29, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Archived article reissued in January 2014 about Cinerama at Indian Hills with multiple images.

davidcoppock on October 30, 2018 at 9:08 am

Opened with “The wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm” and “In search of the castaways”.

MSC77 on October 26, 2022 at 2:04 pm

A chronology of Omaha’s 70mm presentation history has recently been published. Indian Hills is mentioned numerous times.

rivest266 on November 28, 2022 at 9:38 pm

in 1992, it was taken over by First International, which was owned by Morgan Creek Productions, Svensk Filmindustria of Sweden, Peter Fornstam, an Swedish cinema operator. (Kansas City Star November 6th, 1992 p72(B-2))

Cinerama on October 26, 2023 at 7:42 pm

Click on link to see ads, articles, and pictures of the Omaha Indian Hills theatre. Please do not copy to this site.

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