River Town Revival

Vevay is a charming river town. Plan a visit, and while you’re there, be sure to visit the Historic Hoosier Theater, in a building that’s played many roles.

Hoosier Theater, Vevay

With evenings turning cool, why not warm up with a night at the theater?

The Historic Hoosier Theater, built in 1837 at corner of Cheapside and Ferry in the Ohio River town of Vevay, had several early lives — none of them related to drama of the conventional sort. Warehouse and general store. The town post office. Newspaper headquarters. An ignominious stretch from 1919 to 1926 as office of the local Ku Klux Klan.

Minor Bakes bought the place in 1926, booting the Klan and opening it as a theater. First featuring silent movies, then later the talkies, the theater stayed in business until 1955, after which the building sat dormant for decades, deteriorating a little more each year.

In the early 1980s — long before the casino arrived in town — a creative collection of locals formed the non-profit Historic Vevay, Inc. to figure out how to save the landmark. Indiana Landmarks made loans to the group for restoration, and the building earned listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Historic Hoosier Theater, Vevay

Historic Vevay, Inc. operates the 150-seat performing arts venue with an all-volunteer staff, hosting plays, concerts, kids’ theater camps, a popular karaoke contest and civic events. Last year, spurred by a grant from Switzerland County Tourism, the theater began showing films as well.

Vevay is a charming river town. Plan a getaway — and check what’s happening at the Historic Hoosier Theater.

Sign up for our e-newsletter.

Stay up to date on the latest news, stories, and events from Indiana Landmarks, around the state or in your area.