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In The Shadow of Chicago: Palace Theater

By Kevin Robinson in Miscellaneous on Feb 17, 2010 7:00PM

Last Fall, we took a look at some of the communities and abandonments on the far South side and in Northwest Indiana. While the weather hasn't been amenable to walking the City of the Century, David Tribby has shared some of his photography of Gary with us. This week, we'll be looking at some of the notable abandoned buildings there. For a more in depth look at the architecture of the once-great city, check out his book, Gary Indiana, a City's Ruins.

Designed by movie palace architect John Eberson and built by Maximillian Dubois in 1924, Gary's Palace Theater was the place to see vaudeville acts and motion pictures in the City of the Century in the roaring twenties. The theater, an anchor in downtown, was shuttered in 1972. In 1987, three Gary doctors tried to bring the Palace Theater back to life, buying the building at a tax sale for $30,000. They planned to invest between $500,000 and one million dollars to renovate the theater, the adjoining restaurants and storefronts and 27 apartments. For a while in the 1980's, a restaurant operated in a portion of the space, but the project was scuttled after the initial business venture failed. Today the building sits vacant on Broadway, a marquee hanging on precariously, declaring "Jackson 5 Forever."