The Alhambra Theatre

History of the Alhambra

  • May 1913: Construction on The Alhambra Theatre begins.
  • September 1913: The Alhambra Theatre opens to the public.
  • 1956: The Alhambra Theatre closes after 43 years due to “poor business” and remains vacant for 20 years with the exception of weekend plays in 1967 and 1968.
  • 1976-1988: Revitalization efforts of the theatre begin. A series of owners and tenants attempt to raise funds from private donors, local government, and through federal grants. Various programming occurs, although each attempt proves unsustainable.
  • 1995-2000: The River’s Bend Playhouse begins another fundraising campaign. The cost of renovations at this time are estimated to be $1.2 million. The organization eventually dissolves due to financial difficulties.
  • 2003: Historic Landmarks of Indiana takes possession of the Theatre, eventually selling the property to the non-profit group Alhambra Theatre, Inc. The Alhambra Theatre Inc. continues fundraising efforts but cannot programming within the building because the structure is unfit for occupancy.
  • 2015: The Alhambra Theatre Inc. and the Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana enter a real estate relationship giving the Arts Council a two year option to purchase the property.

New owner Ken Haynie III goes on to share, “I obtained the building in December 2017

We have explored several different options including, but not limited to, event space, bar, restaurant, live music venue but have not found the right partner to put a business in place. 

Just keeping the exterior lights on has been hugely impactful.   Those are on 24/7.  Neighbors and visitors alike have reached out to thank us for the boost that provides.

The theater has been proud to host several concerts and festival vendors under the marquee over the past few years.

We love to see people get engagement photos, prom photos, and wedding photos under the marquee.”

PHOTO CREDITS: Photo taken soon after the theater’s construction in 1913  (Deeds 63, Willard Library Collection), Interior of theater; undated (Marchand Collection, Willard Library Collection), Detail of chair; undated (Marchand Collection, Willard Library Collection), Flood of 1937 (Hoge 32, Willard Library Collection), Newsclip from Indiana Landmarks, Boarded up pic also from Indiana Landmarks, We couldn’t find credit for the one with the Woods Drugs store in the foreground, Flood pic with car: Rice Library Digital Archives