It opened in 1974 as a 2-screen theatre, and then four more screens were grafted onto the building twelve or thirteen years later. When it re-opened as a 6-screen theatre in 1986 or 1987, it was one of the premiere movie theatres in Indianapolis. That lasted for all of about seven years, until the enormous new Clearwater Crossing 12 opened in 1993. Eastgate soldiered on for another ten years, enduring the encroachment of Kerasotes Theatres and the assimilation of General Cinema by Another Major Competitor, before the latter shuttered it in early 2004. (Kerasotes was also eventually assimilated by Another Major Competitor.)
Today, the theatre building was torn down. This was what I saw when we passed it on our way back from Bloomington.
After we got home, I drove back to the theatre with my camera. IMPD has used the old mall space as an operations center and east district headquarters for several years now, and they built a perimeter around most of the area, restricting public access. I hadn't driven by in years, so I didn't know that the perimeter doesn't quite extend to the theatre property. I was able to drive up to what would have been the front curb, had the exterior not already been destroyed. One of the guys on the demolition crew gave me leave to stay and take pictures, so I did.
|Another view from the south. Note the exit doors on the grass to the right. Those would be the exit doors from the front of Cinema 1 or Cinema 2. The lower wall, center left of image, was, I think, one of the walls in Cinema 2.|
|Had you been in Cinema 1 and used those exit doors in the previous picture, you would have come out into the world slightly underground. These are the stairs you would have climbed to get back up to the parking lot.|
The speakers hanging on the wall in the next picture are stereo surround speakers that were installed in Cinemas 5 and 6 in 1997. That year, we upgraded Cinemas 2 and 3 from stereo surround sound to DTS Digital, Cinema 4 from stereo surround sound to SDDS Digital, and Cinemas 5 and 6 from mono to stereo surround sound.
Remember the red screen lights?
I'm going to try to go back tomorrow to see if I can get some more shots. I took these pictures at around 7:15pm, so I can't imagine that they would have finished the job today. They certainly will not have carted all the debris away, so I'm sure I'll get some kind of pictures tomorrow - assuming I can still get this close.