The Parthenon was used for more than just movies. Here the orchestra pit is
filled with musicians for a night of
The Parthenon was opened on 19th
March 1921, originally seating over 2500, it was the second-largest of Hammond's
movie theaters, after the 3000-plus seat State. It was originally operated as
part of the Warner Brothers circuit, one of their earliest houses outside of
Opening night's program several vaudeville and musical acts, a couple of film
shorts, and the Douglas Fairbanks feature, "The Nut".
The luxurious and highly ornate neo-Italian Renaissance Baroque style Parthenon
quickly gained the nickname of "The Wonder Theatre", not only screening the best
first-run features, with sound by 1927, but vaudeville into the 30s, many of the
most famous big bands of the 30s and 40s, and celebrities such as Harry Houdini,
Jack Benny and even Rin-Tin-Tin, the most famous canine star of Hollywood until
The Parthenon's spacious auditorium featured one of the earliest Hammond movie
houses with unobstructed sight lines, thanks to its large reinforced steel and
concrete balcony, which sat well over 1200 alone. Its lobby spaces could fit
more than 1000 patrons, and all the Parthenon's public areas were richly
decorated, like a Renaissance era princely palace, and furnished with the finest
artwork and furniture, including caged songbirds in the main lobby.
By the late 60s, and into the 70s, the Parthenon began to be used more for rock
concerts than as a movie house, beginning in 1967, when Sonny and Cher appeared
on stage to promote their movie, "Good Times". During the 70s, groups as diverse
as KISS and Rush played at the Parthenon.
After closing in the early 80s, the longest-lasting of downtown Hammond's great
movie palaces was sadly demolished in 1983, replaced by a parking lot.
Source: Cinema Treasures
And this is what you did as a
kid in 1932's when you wanted to see a movie...
You stood in line waiting for the Parthenon to open. Always a double