Varsity Theatre

2226 Broadway,
Gary, IN 46407

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Nick Bikos Theater Co.

Nearby Theaters

Central District Bikos Theater

A July 1945 story reported that the Nick Bikos Theater Company would build a new theatre in the central district of Gary seating 1,000 and costing up to $100,000. The article noted the size as 75-feet by 162-½ feet. A Bikos building containing a theatre and several storefronts was erected at 2220-2244 Broadway and can be seen in 2019 Google street view. It shows in Sanborn 1951 but not 1945. In the 1970’s the auditorium was used as a mosque accessed through the left front exit and the lobby was occupied by a laundromat. The Varsity Theatre never made it to any listings in editions of Film Daly Yearbook 1950-1957.

In the November 2019 Google Street View the boarded-up building is seen with it’s last use as the ‘Safe and Sound’ Senior Citizen Social Club Inc. on its marquee.

Contributed by Denverpalace

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2023 at 7:57 am

I hate to link to the awful web site Yumpu, but it’s the only place I can find this information. An item headlined “Bikos Co. Will Construct $125,000 Gary Theatre” on page 59 of the April 30, 1949 issue of Boxoffice is about this theater. The project’s architect, L. Harry Warriner, estimated that it would take from ten months to a year to complete, depending on the availability of materials, so it probably didn’t open until 1950 at the earliest. No theater is listed at this address in the 1951 FDY, so it might not have opened until after that year’s edition went to press, or it might just have been the usual FDY slackness at work.

I don’t have access to any FDY’s later than 1951, so I don’t know if it was listed in 1952, or what its name was, but a page that probably duplicates this one was just added to Cinema Treasures under the name Varsity Theatre. It has no description of the theater at all, but gives the address range of 2218-46 Broadway, so must be the same house.

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