Wallace Theatre

21 W. Main Street,
Peru, IN 46970

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Alliance Theater Corp.

Styles: Neo-Classical

Nearby Theaters

The Wallace Theatre Peru Indiana

Opened as the Webb Theatre by 1904 with 1,045-seats. By 1909 it was operating as the Wallace Theatre. It was designed in a Neo-Classical style with seating later listed at 729. The Wallace Theatre was around the corner from the larger Roxy Theatre. It was operated by Gregory Theatres when it opened and by 1941 Alliance Theater Corp. until its closing in 1961.

It was later demolished. A PNC Bank now sits on the site of the former Wallace Theatre.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 11, 2012 at 5:40 pm

The Wallace Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1909, when an item in the April 23 issue of the Rochester Sentinel said that Charles Holden, owner of a stock company then playing at the Park Theatre in Indianapolis, had secured a lease on the Wallace Theatre in Peru. Holden already controlled the Eagles Theatre in Wabash, and later that year would take over the Manitou Theatre in Rochester, a vaudeville house which he would convert into a movie theater.

jmoore on July 23, 2013 at 10:21 pm

The Wallace Theatre was smaller than the Roxy, however it did have it’s own unique charm, including the entry to the theatre. This was another one of those theatres that many traveling acts came to perform at, and due to it’s smaller size it allowed for a more entertaining experience. As a movie theatre it held it’s own for many years. Unfortunately it’s market dried up, and since it lacked the grandeur of the Roxy there was never a real effort to preserve it. It’s auditorium was long and respectively more narrow (with 720+ seats) compared to the grand auditorium of the Roxy. By 1961, poorly maintained by the Alliance Theatre Group, the old Wallace Theatre passed into the memories of theatres gone by. It too was lost to the wrecking ball. It was a sad loss too, because of the acoustics of that old theatre. Had she survived the trend of destroying such old treasures, she surely would have made a great community theatre.

John_M_Moore on April 16, 2016 at 10:10 am

We were really honored to find this rare promo-image of the Old Wallace Theatre dated 1959. The image was in a collection we obtained but was badly deteriorated, with portions of the image either missing or stained. The restoration of the image is as historically correct as we could make it. The films shown on the marquee were selected from the 1959 film list (We could not tell what the original sign had posted.) But architecturally the image is accurate. It definitely shows how beautiful a treasure was lost.

SethG on June 1, 2020 at 9:11 am

The 1906 Sanborn shows this as the Webb Theater. On the 1899 map, there are two houses on the lot. The 1905 Cahn guide has the Webb managed by Fred Webb, and gives the capacity as 1,045. The building was fairly large, and three stories tall. There were commercial spaces flanking the entrance, and the front of the upper stories was also rented out. The structure remains unchanged up to the 1920 map.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 1, 2020 at 9:51 pm

The Webb Theatre in Peru is listed in the Department of Inspection’s section of the Annual Reports of the Officers of State of the State of Indiana for the fiscal year ending October 31, 1904. The Webb was reported to be in good condition, not surprising since it must have been built after 1899 and was thus no more than four years old. I’ve searched construction journals for the period from 1899 to 1904, but haven’t yet found any notices for the theater project.

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