Oriental Theatre

203 N. Sale Street,
Ellettsville, IN 47429

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This theatre appears on the 1929 Sanborn, in a small one story stone building, which appears to have been constructed around 1895 in association with the Masonic Lodge on the corner.

By 1910, it was one of four nearly identical storefronts, and housed a drugstore. While the map shows a consistent height across the little block of storefronts, at some later point the theatre and the space to the east were given a very strange remodel and all the openings were bricked up.

It’s unclear what the status of the building is, but it is not vacant. For some idea of what it probably looked like, the eastern two storefronts appear to be in original condition.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

SethG on May 15, 2021 at 7:12 am

The streets have been renamed. Up until at least 1929, the theater was on Cross near the intersection with Back (now Vine).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 15, 2021 at 8:50 pm

The history section of the web site of Ellettsville Christian Church says that “[o]n August 5th, 1928 services were first held in the Oriental Theater on the west side of Sale Street.” The “Closings” column for Indiana in the July 1, 1929 issue of The Film Daily lists a house at Ellettsville called the Orient. Given the low odds that such a short street in a such small town would have two theaters on its west side, the house at 203 Sale probably was the Oriental (or Orient.) The absence of any other theaters on the 1929 Sanborn map would pretty much clinch it.

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