A nonprofit group says it has raised enough money to purchase the Indiana Theater in Washington. The Friends of the Indiana Theater plan to restore it, although they don’t have a timeline for when it will be able to reopen.
The Indiana Theater has been boarded up for about a year. The owners closed it and put it up for sale because business had declined and it was no longer profitable.
A group known as the Friends of the Indiana Theater held fundraisers and eventually raised enough money to purchase the property earlier this year. The group’s President Rick Osmon says the theater is the centerpiece of downtown Washington.
“When you look up and down this street you see a lot of cars parked, but you don’t see anyone here at very near lunchtime actually walking the street,” he says. “And there’s something wrong with that picture. It needs to be a vital, active place.”
Next door to the theater is the Chill Café and Wellness Center. Amy Stuffle is the owner. She says the reopening of the theater should help her business.
“There’s a big decline in traffic and people definitely expressed that they really regretted that it had closed and I think if it does reopen again, which hopefully it will,” Stuffle says. “I think we’ll see a lot more support for it as a community.”
The Friends of the Indiana Theater plan to have a number of fundraisers to collect money for repairs, including a new roof.