215 E. Main Street,
Washington, IN 47501

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Additional Info

Functions: Retail

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The 1909 Sanborn shows an ‘Electric Theatre’ operating in the western storefront of a two-story brick commercial building that appears to date from sometime after 1902. It is possible that this was an extensive remodel of older buildings dating back to before 1887, but it’s hard to be sure.

As early cinemas go, this is neither large nor small. The plan shows that the building, which then only extended about 2/3 of the way back to the alley, had a one-story section at the rear. A wide opening separates this from the main space, and it may represent a proscenium.

This operation was unsuccessful, and the 1921 map shows the building greatly extended, and used as a cloak shop. Aside from some very ugly storefront inserts, the building today is in good shape and appears to be used as a single retail space.

Contributed by Seth Gaines
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