Yesteryear by Pat Sides
The American Theater opened in 1915 at 626-628 Main Street, in the same block where the Victory Theater would open six years later. It was one of several movie houses that populated the downtown district during this era, such as the Grand, the Majestic, the Princess, and the Strand. Smaller neighborhood theaters had already begun to sprout up on the city’s north and west sides.
A newspaper article boasted that the new “moving picture theater” would be luxurious and embody modern features. A seating capacity of one thousand would make it Evansville’s largest theater, but with more than the required number of exits, the building could be vacated in two minutes. Its prime location on Main Street, coupled with an admission price of a dime, guaranteed the theater’s life for several decades.
The American Theater is seen here during the 1937 flood. The building was finally razed in 1961 as the urban renewal movement began to take hold of downtown Evansville.