Article Archives: Building Blocks

Building Blocks is a monthly feature by historian Steve Barnett about historic properties on the east side of Indianapolis.

George W. Julian

“I know of nothing better than to settle in the vicinity of Indianapolis, which is undoubtedly destined to be one of the largest cities of the Middle West, and where we shall be accessible to society, libraries and lectures,” said George W. Julian about his decision to build a home … Read More

The Passion Pit

This is the last installment about Indianapolis motion picture theaters. While the title may appear somewhat salacious suggesting the content deserves an “X-Rating,” the reader will find it nothing more than “PG” and most likely “G-Rated.” Sorry to disappoint; however younger readers may ask, “And what did you do when … Read More

Kiddie Matinee Afternoons

Across Indianapolis from the late 1930s through the 1960s, thousands of kids could be found every Saturday afternoon at their neighborhood movie theater enjoying a special “kiddie matinee.” After paying an admission from 10ȼ to 35ȼ, the next stop was the concession stand — a box of popcorn, a cup … Read More

Flickering Light on the Silver Screen, Part 1

The Paleface — Bob Hope singing “Buttons and Bows” and Jane Russell, well, being Jane Russell — is my earliest memory of seeing a motion picture show. I saw the film with my parents at The Indiana. A few years later I was old enough to join over 500 of … Read More

On Thin Ice

Winter sports in Indianapolis in the 1950s were very limited. Most of my outdoor activity centered around sledding on Brown’s Hill ([southwest corner of Washington St and Emerson Ave.), building snow forts, and engaging in snowball fights. Once there was a strange sight of a cross-country skier slowly gliding across … Read More