Theatergoers may now catch a movie at the Brown County Playhouse. It’s one of many changes since Indiana University donated the theater to the community foundation in 2010 after more than a decade of operating it under a deficit.
Indiana University owned the Brown County Playhouse for more than 60 years before it gave the property to the Brown County Community Foundation.
The board almost immediately began fundraising so it could operate year round and begin showing movies.
Last week the theater opened its doors for its first movie showing. Playhouse spokesperson Suzannah Levett Zody says residents appreciate the convenience of not having to drive to Bloomington or Columbus.
“Every time the audiences is about double. We started out with a house of about fifty people, then it doubled, then it doubled, so it’s amazing… the word of mouth is going everywhere. It’s astounding how excited everybody is about it,” Zody says.
The theatre has capacity for approximately 500 people.
Playhouse Manager Doug Harden oversees the daily operations. He says the theater is a community treasure and something that helps support other businesses.
“I know a lot of businesses are starting to notice and take advantage of not only the movies we’ve done, but for the last year we’ve had live programming, which more restaurants are staying open later.”
The playhouse will continue to offer live concerts and other entertainment throughout the year.