The Indiana Theater, 1927

140 West Washington Street, Indianapolis IN 46204

Architect/Designer: Rubush & Hunter


The Indiana Theater is a six story structure that features a stunning glazed terra cotta façade. The main portion of the facade begins just above the marquee. The central bay is encrusted with ornament in the typical manner of Spanish Baroque architecture. The central arch is supported by a pair of identical three story columns which flank the window opening. Another pair of columns frames each outer edge of the central bay. Tall, narrow panels between the paired columns contain three levels of small windows. Additional terra cotta ornament within the façade includes griffins, swans, and symbols of royalty such as pomegranates. The incredible detail within the central façade is contrasted with the clean lines of the window bays and the smooth terra cotta tiles throughout the remainder of the structure.

Significance Statement – including special status and awards won:

The Indiana Theatre is the largest and most ornamented historic movie palace left in Indianapolis, an example of the extravagant movie palaces of the 1920s. The building also has one of the finest glazed terra cotta facades, and certainly the most ornamental, in town.

Designation status:

National Register of Historic Places, 1979

Style: Spanish Baroque

Owner (past/present):

Past: Circle Theater Company

Present: Indiana Repertory Theater

Materials: Brick, Terra Cotta

Additions and/or changes with date:

1972: Converted into convention space

Late 1970s: Converted to live theater, removal of basement bowling ally

Upper level interior renovation, date unknown

Historic use/current use:

Historic: Movie Palace

Current: Theater, event space

Is building open to the public?: No

Condition: Excellent

Website and/or sources of information

Indiana Repertory Theater:


Research Sources:

National Register of Historic Places, Indiana Theater, Marion, Indianapolis, Indiana. 1979.

National Park Service. “Indiana Theater.” Accessed October 20, 2015.


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