New WTIU documentary explores historic Indiana theater: ‘The Indiana Theatre at 100: The Evolution of the Buskirk-Chumley’ premieres February 9 at 8 p.m.
A new documentary from WTIU Public Television explores the story of a historic Bloomington theater and the secret to its longevity. The Indiana Theatre at 100: The Evolution of the Buskirk-Chumley premieres Thursday, February 9 at 8 p.m. on WTIU and simultaneously streams on Facebook Live.
On December 11, 1922, a crowd of 1,300—nearly ten percent of Bloomington’s population at the time—turned out to celebrate the opening of the Indiana Theatre.
Built by Harry P. Vonderschmitt and his wife Nova, the theater—now known as the Buskirk-Chumley—started out showing silent movies and vaudeville acts. The legendary composer Hoagy Carmichael and his band the Collegians played between shows.
Throughout the theater’s existence, it has weathered fires, wars, the Depression, insolvency, and changes in ownership. While many theaters were built in the early 20th century, few remain today. But the Indiana Theatre’s ornate façade still graces Kirkwood Avenue in downtown Bloomington.
One hundred years after it first opened, the documentary reveals how the theater continues to thrive, hosting sellout performances of plays, films, comedy acts, and more, while also becoming a favorite of touring performers.
Watch a trailer and learn more about The Indiana Theatre at 100: The Evolution of the Buskirk-Chumley on WTIU’s YouTube channel. Following the premiere on WTIU and Facebook Live, the program will be available to stream on PBS Video starting February 10.
The Indiana Theatre at 100: The Evolution of the Buskirk-Chumley is made possible with support from CFC, Inc., Community Lincoln of Bloomington, IU Credit Union, and ISU/The May Agency.
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