Indiana Theater Neon Centennial Day

Indiana Theater Neon Centennial Day
December 11, 2022

Let’s Celebrate!

Today only, tickets to the theater’s official birthday party on January 28 are buy one, get one free!


Discount applied at checkout. This offer expires December 11 at 11:59PM.

A Proclamation from the Mayor of Bloomington

WHEREAS, the Indiana Theater showed its first movie 100years ago today, December 11, 1922; and

WHEREAS, for 52 years, the Vonderschmitt family owned and operated the theater where, “for the price of admission, anyone, rich or poor, young or old, could dream of a better life – more opulent, more romantic, more adventurous – at the movies”; and 

WHEREAS, the theater employed hundreds of local people and also supported many local entertainers from 1925-1928, including Hoagy Carmichael and the Collegians; and

WHEREAS, in 1948, manager Arthur Clark invited George Taliaferro and his date to attend a movie and sit anywhere they wanted, gracefully and peacefully integrating the theater; and 

WHEREAS, the Vonderschmitt family sold the theater in 1976 to Illinois-based Kerasotes Theaters, which continued to operate the theater for another 21 years; and 

WHEREAS, in 1995, Kerasotes agreed to give the theater to the Bloomington Area Arts Council, and the theater was renamed the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, in gratitude for a major gift from a prominent local family; and

WHEREAS, New management by local nonprofit, Buskirk-Chumley Theater Management, Inc., and generous support from the City as well as many businesses and individuals in the community facilitated the restoration of the theater; and

WHEREAS, The Indiana Theater has prevailed through many challenges including a disastrous fire, the Great Depression, a robbery, World War II, the flight of theaters and audiences to suburban malls, and many others; and

WHEREAS, through these numerous challenges, the theater has remained a vibrant downtown anchor, showcasing the best in local, regional, and national entertainment; and

WHEREAS, the year 2022 marks 100 years of the theater’s marquee lighting up downtown Bloomington. 

NOW, THEREFORE, I, John Hamilton, Mayor of the City of Bloomington, do hereby declare December 11, 2022, as

Indiana Theater Neon Centennial Day

in Bloomington, Indiana, in gratitude for 100 years of bright lights and opening nights.