Cinema 1

210 S. Main Street,
Elkhart, IN 46516

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: GKC Theatres, Indiana-Illinois Theaters

Functions: Church

Previous Names: Orpheum Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Cinema 1

The Orpheum Theatre was opened by 1913. In 1920 it was equipped with a Seeburg-Smith 2 manual organ. It was still open in the 1980’s having been renamed Cinema 1.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

AndrewBarrett on January 28, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Good to see that this theatre building SEEMS to be still standing, and in use as a church. Are there any interior or exterior photos of it from its days as a theatre?

According to “The Encyclopedia of the American Theatre Organ”, pg. 629, the “Orpheum Th.” in Elkhart, Indiana originally had a two-manual Seeburg-Smith theatre pipe organ installed in 1920. The size of the instrument (# of ranks) is not given in the book (not known at the time of publication). This organ has/had Spencer blower serial #10866, which was 2 horsepower and delivered wind at 10" static pressure.

Does anybody know more about this organ and where it (or its parts) is/are today? Could it still be installed and in use in the building as a church organ?


Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 19, 2022 at 12:12 am

This item about the Orpheum appeared in the January 4, 1919 issue of Moving Picture World:

“Orpheum Holds a Potato Matinee.

“A potato matinee, the admission for which was one potato, was given by the management of the Orpheum Theatre at Elkhart, Ind., on Saturday, December 21. All of the tubers—and there were several bushels collected—were turned over to Miss Bessie Owens, city welfare worker, for distribution among the poor of the city at Christmas time. ‘The Midnight Patrol,’ a Select film, was the attraction.”

Although the Orpheum is not listed in the 1926 FDY, it does appear in the 1929 edition and is still listed in the 1951 edition. CinemaTour gives the Orpheum the aka Cinema I. Another web page says that, in the 1980s, all the theaters in Elkhart, including Cinema I, were owned by a Bill Miller, who was murdered by a disgruntled employee at the Concord Theatre in 1987, after which the theaters were all sold to the GKC (Kerasotes) chain, which closed all but the Encore within a few years.

CinemaTour also gives an opening year of 1913 for the Orpheum, though it isn’t one of the three theaters listed at Elkhart in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory. The Directory’s listings were often incomplete.

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