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Previous Names: New Broadway Theater
In April 1914 local showman V.U. Young announced plans for a $30,000 theater on Broadway at Seventeenth Avenue. Eleven months later more details emerged: It would be a $40,000 theater at the northwest corner of Broadway and Seventeenth Avenue seating 750, and it would be erected by the Wolf Syndicate Company – their fourth amusement place in Gary. Seventeenth and Broadway was selected because there were few places of amusement on what was then considered the city’s south side. Young and C.J. Wolf, who owned several inter-related companies that in turn owned and/or operated theaters, began construction in June 1916. In October 1916 the $75,000 800-seat New Broadway Theater opened with vaudeville and pictures. The interior represented a garden; walls and trellis work over the ceiling represented a sky.
The Broadway Theater, as it was by then known, and five other Gary theaters joined the Illinois and Indiana Theaters booking circuit in January 1927. Indiana-Ohio Theaters Corp., a new Paramount-Publix subsidiary, acquired control of the Broadway Theater and nine other Young-Wolf houses in June 1929. Publix flipped the property to Nick Bikos in July 1931. After the 1938 opening of his Indiana Theater Bikos closed the Broadway Theater It was converted to retail use with the theater occupied for many years by George’s Fruit Market. It has since been demolished and the site is a vacant plot of land.
(This was the 2nd Broadway Theatre to operate in Gary, IN, the 1st Broadway Theatre at 760 Broadway has its own page on Cinema Treasures and survives today as a fraternal hall).
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