Silver Screen Cinema
111 S. Randolph Street,
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Architects: E.J. Frederic
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Gala Theatre
The Silver Screen Cinema was one of the last few remaining single screen theaters in Indiana. It was built around 1939 and opened as the Gala Theatre around October 1939. It was operated like an old fashioned theatre. In 1981 it was renamed Silver Screen Cinema and cccording to the owner Bruce Babbitt, “we don’t take credit or debit cards, and we don’t sell tickets on the Internet. It’s still the old-fashioned first-come-first-serve. We keep it simple. One of the ways we remain competitive is not getting involved in credit card machines”. The Silver Screen Cinema shows first run movies. Prices are $4.50 for adults, $3.50 for children 11 and under, matinees all seats $3.00".
The Silver Screen Cinema was closed in the summer of 2012.
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Recent comments (view all 9 comments)
This is a small town theatre. I have fond memories of it. It was once called the Gala Theatre. I do not know if that was the original name though. I hope to take my kids there to see an old time movie theatre next time I visit my hometown.
Can anyone refer me to a Drive-In Theatre Society. Preferably
the New England area? Thanks You
Mr. Babbitt owns the Strand Theatre in Kendallville, IN. Also, the Silver Screen is considered “Sold Out” at the 320 mark.
Here is a 1980 photo:
Here’s some info about this theatre:
According to the website, this theater is now closed.
An early Real Photo postcard of the Gala Theatre can be seen on this web page.
The “Theaters Planned” column of the September 9, 1938, issue of The Film Daily said that a 640-seat theater at Garrett for Alex C. Kalafat was being designed by architect E. J. Frederic. The address given was 519 S. Randolph Street, but this page from the Eckhart Public Library says that the 638-seat Gala Theatre was opened by the Kalafat brothers in 1939, so it was probably the same project despite the address discrepancy.
From Ron Keddy’s Facebook post of 11/20/2016. Took my “Movies Under The Stars” equipment up to the tiny town of Garrett, Indiana (above Fort Wayne) to do a free town-sponsored Christmas movie to kick off their holiday season. Over 200 in attendance at their beautiful old local theatre, The Silver Screen, that has been closed for about two years. Many, many happy faces of the families and especially the children, many of whom have never seen the inside of a real theatre.
This article with a history of the theater up to 2009 says that Bruce Babbitt changed the name from Gala to Silver Screen in 1981. It also says that an “open house” was held in the new theater on October 30, 1939. It doesn’t say that this was the Gala’s first show, but regular operation of the house must have begun around that time.