Riley Theatre

9 S. American Legion Place,
Greenfield, IN 46140

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Mallers Brothers

Functions: Office Space

Previous Names: Why Not Theatre, Family Theatre, New Riley Theatre

Nearby Theaters

In 1919 the Why Not Theatre, which had been operating at another location since 1909, moved into a new building on the east side of Greenfield’s courthouse square. In 1920, the house was renamed the Family Theatre, but soon returned to its original name.

The Why Not Theatre closed in December 1928, and reopened as the New Riley Theatre as the result of a consolidation of Greenfield’s three movie houses. The original Riley Theatre, opened in 1915 and named in honor of “Hoosier Poet” and Greenfield native James Whitcomb Riley, was then closed.

Despite competition from the new Weil Theatre, opened in 1946, the Riley Theatre continued to operate until 1953. The building has been converted into offices for an insurance company, but the original projection booth still exists, though with its projector ports covered on one side, and the leather-clad, wooden auditorium doors are still in use.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

rivest266
rivest266 on June 5, 2016 at 7:55 am

August 28th, 1915 grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 5, 2016 at 8:10 am

March 5th, 1920 grand opening ad as Why Not in photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 5, 2016 at 8:19 am

https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5490900/why_not_theatre_renamed_riley/ has the article for the renaming to Riley from Why Not. The change was in effect on January 1st, 1929.

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