9 S. American Legion Place,
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Previously operated by: Mallers Brothers
Functions: Office Space
Previous Names: Why Not Theatre, Family Theatre, New Riley Theatre
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.
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