Hilbert Circle Theater (Circle Theater), 1916

45 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Architect/Designer: Rubush & Hunter

DESCRIPTION:

Hilbert Circle Theater is an excellent example of the Neo-Classical Revival style that was popular during the early twentieth century. The theater was designed to follow the curvature of Monument Circle and thus features a unique curved façade. The theater features detailed cornice work, as well as a Grecian relief in the pediment created with Rookwood pottery. A mural of the Greek muses also adorns the theater, designed by H.A. Wheeler and created using tinted cement. The exquisite interior of the Hilbert Circle Theater is done in Neo-Adamesque style; a combination of Greek, Etruscan and Pompeian influences.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT:

The Hilbert Circle Theater, formerly known as Circle Theater, was one of the first movie palaces built in the Midwest and the oldest film theater in Indianapolis. Hilbert Circle Theater is the second oldest building on Indianapolis’ Monument Circle, only Christ Church Cathedral predates the theater.

DESIGNATION STATUS:

National Register of Historic Places (1980)

Washington Street-Monument Circle National Register Historic District (1997)

Monument Circle Historic District (2013)

Style: Neo-Classical Revival

Owner (past/present):

Past: Circle Theater Company

Present: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Materials: Terra cotta façade

Additions and/or changes with date:

Vestibule and lobby remodeled 1964.

Historic use/current use:

Historic use: Movie palace

Current use: Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Is building open to the public?:

Yes, open for public tours and Indiana Symphony Orchestra events

Condition: Excellent

Website and/or sources for further information:

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra website:

https://www.indianapolissymphony.org/about/hilbert-circle-theatre

Research Sources:

Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission. Monument Circle Historic District Preservation Plan. 2013. Comprehensive Plan for Marion County, Indiana.http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DMD/IHPC/Districts/Historic/Documents/Full%20Plan.pdf

National Register of Historic Places, Circle Theater, Indianapolis, Marion, IN, 19800616. 1980.

pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/nrhp/text/80000058.PDF

 

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