6800 Pendleton Pike,
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Previously operated by: Y. & W. Management Corp.
- Carlyle Theatre
- Esquire Cinema
- Shadeland Drive-In
- Pendleton Pike Drive-In
- Fort Benjamin Harrison Theatre
News About This Theater
- May 23, 2012 — Celebrating the Original STAR WARS on its 35th Anniversary
- May 21, 2010 — Happy 30th, "Empire"
- Aug 21, 2009 — "Alien" 30th Anniversary
- May 25, 2007 — Happy 30th, Star Wars!
The Eastwood Theatre opened September 11, 1968 with the film “The Impossible Years” and was operated by the Y & W management company. The theatre then showcased “Funny Girl” in 70mm. It was designed with a Rustic image. It was part of a strip shopping center anchored by an Ayr-Way department store (a local Indianapolis chain once owned by the L.S. Ayres department store-hence the Ayr in the name).
The theatre in 1974 removed its flat screen and installed a larger curved screen to accommodate the re-release of “This Is Cinerama”. Though there was hesitation to redo the screen, it later was a big pay off as the exclusive venue for “Star Wars”.
The theatre had begun in the early-1970’s to be the east-side showcase for all Disney releases, which eventually helped the demise of the neighboring Arlington Theatre, which had been the Disney location for nearly 20 years. The theatre thrived on the releases of the other “Star Wars” movies, but it, too, floundered to the times and was unable to expand to keep up with other locations.
The Eastwood Theatre was converted into a live concert venue which closed in the early-1990’s. It was gutted and is now part of Menards.
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Recent comments (view all 45 comments)
The only fact I’m going to stick to is that I was the person threading the projectors and turning them on during most of the films mentioned. If I have a date wrong or a title out of sequence, so be it. I’m trying to share some memories of a great theatre and an era I was a part of, not compile a minute by minute CIA report. I think this is tainting the spirit of what the Eastwood was all about. I’m now 68 years old, have been in this business 50+ years and have worked just about every theatre in Marion and surrounding counties. I thought it would be fun to keep these memories alive for Cinema Treasures whether in the correct order or not. If everyone feels their research is correct and wants to post it, have at it. Thanks, Ron Keedy
Ron, your info is much appreciated. For a while, the Eastwood was the premiere avenue for blockbusters… many fond memories of opening nights for Star Wars, Alien and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. And the sound system for Tommy gave me a headache for 24 hours!
Yes, it was a concert venue in the 90’s. I saw Beck and Green Day there. Similar in size to what the Emerson Theater is now. Perhaps a little bit smaller.
Does anyone know what the “Y” and the “W” stood for in Y&W Management (the company that operated the Eastwood)?
Y & W Management Corp. were based in Indianapolis, IN. R.R. Young was the Secretary-Treasurer and Marc J. Wolf was the President & General Manager.
September 11th, 1968 grand opening ad in photo section.
12/19/2015 I’ve been digging up everything I can find on the Eastwood, most recently this STAR WARS first birthday pic. There is still quite a bit of mis-information in some of these posts, but the memories of the best theatre in Indianapolis will never be lost! Enjoy! Ron R. Keedy, Manager and Owner
I remember seeing Star Wars for the first time in late September of 1977 at Eastwood Theater. We had moved to the Westside of Indy from Tupelo Mississippi. It was back to being exclusive to Eastwood, and mom was not happy about trekking across town for a movie. After that, it became a phenomenon in Indy, as each week the ad in paper would state how many weeks the film had been there. I remember checking the paper each week and seeing “48th Smash Week, 49th Smash week”. It was a fun thing as a kid to do. And then the news that night in June did a story that it was over and after 55 weeks the run was done.
In May of 1980, I was there for opening day of Empire. Anyone remember that? I made it in for the first showing, and the first 20 minutes or so of the dialogue track was garbled, and people were getting mad. Finally, they fixed it and the show went on.
I remember the late 80’s when it became the Old Trail Theater and for some reason I think I saw them showing Harry and the Hendersons there. It was a great old theater.
During what year did Eastwood close?
This 2015 wordpress piece with images says it converted to live concert venue and then closed in the early 1990s.