The historic Buskirk-Chumley Theater is a versatile location for any style of wedding. Looking for fun? One couple invited friends and family to perform a talent show on the stage during the reception. Seeking elegance? This 1922 theater needs very little decoration to be inviting. Ready to boogie? The stage or the orchestra pit can be used as a dance floor. And don’t forget about the marquee, which will welcome guests to your big day, along with the flashing lights of the historic “Indiana” sign.
A wedding in a theater? How will this work?
Some couples just have their ceremony in the theater and move to another location for their reception. Others just have their reception here. We can accommodate both, although it should be noted that the theater is not suited for large seated meals, as open space for tables with seating is limited to the stage and orchestra pit.
We plan events every day at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and can talk to you about how best to use all the spaces available to you (mezzanine, lobby, stage, dressing rooms, etc.). Schedule a tour to learn how this space can make your wedding dreams come true.
What's included in the rental?
Your rental fee includes a house manager who helps your day run smoothly. We ask that you name a wedding coordinator (professional or talented friend) to be the house manager’s contact throughout the day to keep the details off your plate.
We have a limited number of six-foot tables and table cloths available for your use. And, of course, the theater comes with seating for more than 500 (300 seats on the orchestra level). Additional tables and chairs may be rented elsewhere.
You are also welcome to use our high-quality lighting and sounds systems. You can play music, shine in a spotlight, or put on a light show. We also provide your event with a professional to run the equipment, but their time is billed separately.
Is there a disco ball?
Why, yes, there is a disco ball. That’s included in the rental rate as well.
Does the BCT provide catering?
We can provide locally-sourced concessions and bar service and offer open or cash bar options. Beer from Upland Brewing Company and wine from Oliver Winery is $5 per glass. Cardinal Spirits cocktails are available at $7 per glass. If it suits your wedding, we can open our concessions area and provide organic The Carthage Mill popcorn ($2), soda ($2-3), bottled water ($2), BLU Boy cookies and chocolate bars ($3), and Bloomingfoods snack mixes ($3).
Our staff must serve any alcohol provided to your guests. Otherwise, the theater does not handle catering, although we recommend you order your coffee and sweet treats from from BLU Boy Cafe & Cakery, which is adjacent to our lobby. We can help you coordinate with catering vendors. If you choose to bring in outside food, there will be a $150 cleaning fee. Please note that buffet lines make the best use of our space, on stage or in the lobby.
What will my guests need to know?
Downtown Bloomington is a great wedding location, with museums, shopping, and access to a walking trail within a few blocks of the theater.
Parking is plentiful, and we will happily direct your guests to the free parking options available downtown. Don’t forget that all parking is free on Sundays.
There are several lovely hotel options within easy walking distance of the theater.
Can we get creative?
A recent wedding at the BCT included a parade down Kirkwood Avenue. Another couple created their own backdrop to hang behind the stage. The BCT supports creativity and the arts in all forms, including wedding planning.
Your BCT wedding will create wonderful memories that can be revisited each time you return for a concert or play. For a donation of $500, your names can be engraved on an armrest to commemorate your special day. We can also suggest BCT ornaments and enamel pins, available for sale in our box office, as gifts for your wedding party.
What are the rules?
The terms and conditions document you will sign as part of your contract forbids smoking and/or the burning of any substance within the theater. Please help us protect this historic building by not including candles in your ceremony.
A one-day rental of the theater gives you access to the space from 8am to midnight. If you need to begin setting up a day in advance, an additional day’s rent would be charged at the lower rehearsal rate.
How much does it cost?
Rental rates vary by month and day of the week, and additional costs will depend on what special features your wedding will include. Check out our availability calendar and rate information to help you start on your budget. Feel free to contact us with any questions.
- rent (based on month and day of week);
- technical labor fees (minimum of $250, we can work with you to come up with an estimate based on your plans);
- concession costs (if any);
- cleaning fee (if using an outside caterer);
- event insurance (to be acquired by you); and
- additional equipment fees ($150 each if using the piano, projector, or stage extension).
What’s the first step?
Ready for more information or a tour of the building? Check out our availability calendar to confirm that your date is not already booked, and then contact Executive Director Danielle McClelland at 812.323.3022 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you are ready to schedule your wedding, the theater can be placed on hold for no more than 14 days. After this time, the date must be secured with a signed contract and a minimum $200/day non-refundable deposit.