K of P Theatre

215 N. Broadway Street,
Greensburg, IN 47240

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Affiliated Theaters Inc. (Indianapolis)

Architects: James M. Wood

Styles: Greek Revival

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K of P Theatre

Opened March 25, 1908 as an addition to the Knights of Phythias building in Greensburg, Indiana which was built in 1899. The K of P Theatre was screening movies by 1917 and was operated by Walter F. Easley in the late-1920’s. He went on to build and operate the Tree Theatre in 1939. By 1950 it was operated by Affiliated Theatres Inc. out of Indianapolis. It was closed in 1958, only the front of the building still stands.

Contributed by elmorovivo

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2016 at 8:18 pm

The K of P Theatre opened on March 25, 1908, according to Indiana Memory. The site has a couple of interior photos, here and here. The house was designed by noted theater architect James M. Wood.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 3, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Although the Knights of Pythias building, built in 1899, is still standing, the theater added at the back of the building in 1908 is gone. It appears in an aerial view made in 1998, but a view taken in 2003 shows a parking lot on the site.

The NRHP nomination form for the building (PDF here,) dating from 1975, describes the theater as a four-story brick structure with two balconies. The main floor seated 341 and the balconies accommodated another 350. The interior decoration of the auditorium was a simple Greco-Roman Classical, and featured Ionic columns and fluted pilasters.

Historic aerial views show that the stage house occupied about 2/5 of the theater’s shallow footprint, so the auditorium was wider than it was deep. Although movies were shown in the house as early as 1910, a proper projection booth was not installed until 1923. After the theater closed as a movie house in 1958, it remained dark except for two summers when local talent used it for live performances.

SethG on May 13, 2021 at 5:14 pm

168 seems ridiculously low even without using the balconies. The 1913 Sanborn shows the capacity as 1,000. The 1909-10 Cahn guide gives a total capacity of 925 (orchestra 350, balcony 300, gallery 275).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 14, 2021 at 5:24 am

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory lists only one movie house at Greensburg; the Palace, on the north side of the public square. The absence of the K of P Theatre suggests that it was presenting only live events at that time. Not everything in the theater was live by 1917, though, when the April 7 issue of Motion Picture News published this item:

“INDIANA. — Greensburg: Manager George Dunn has added a New Edison to the equipment of the K. of P, theatre, Greensburg, Indiana. A new repertoire will be used each evening.”
The New Edison referred to was that company’s most advance phonograph. The fact that the item appears in a movie industry trade journal suggests that the K of P was frequently running movies by then.

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