WASHINGTON, In. (WTWO/WAWV) – A long-standing theater in Daviess County is getting new ownership and will be owned and operated locally for the first time in decades.
The Indiana Theater in Washington has been owned by KJB Theaters since 2014, sitting vacant for four years prior to that.
From the smell of popcorn and candy to the lights flashing with the top movies, the theater has played the favorite movies of many people across Indiana for almost a century.
“We can’t have downtown without the theater that’s been here for almost 100 years and we just wanted to keep it up and going and maintained,” Dusty Davis, co-owner of the theater, said.
As of April 1st, Dusty Davis, Ryan Dashner, and Sean Terry will be the owners.
“We have a desire to build into and provide entertainment and food options for here in Washington. A lot of people travel to Vincennes or to Evansville and Bloomington and we just want to pour into the downtown here locally,” Terry said.
Blaine Kalberer has been a long-time employee of the theater, working in the business for more than 50 years.
In fact, his grandfather was once the manager.
“The best thing I can say is, it’s just in my blood. That’s all there is to it. This is just as much a home to me as a lot of homes are to people where they actually live,” Kalberer said.
He said he hopes the new owners will be able to make the theater how it once was, full of life and events other than just movies.
“There used to be something going on in here a lot. I mean, besides the movie and the concession. You could have stage shows, you could have special movies and it’s a big theater. There’s a lot of seating and there is just a lot of possibilities here,” Kalberer said.
Terry said they hope to keep the integrity of the building that many people know and love, while also making necessary upgrades.
“I have a vision to continue to build on this classic theater feel, and that’s what it is. We would love to start looking at adding to some of the plaster, moldings, and crown moldings and going back where modern light fixtures have been introduced and going back to more maybe like a chandelier,” Terry said.
He said they are looking to improve the concession area and provide upgrades to the audio and visual aspects of the theater.
As for Kalberer, he said he does not plan on leaving the big screen any time soon.
“As long as he can put up with me, I’d like to be here,” Kalberer said.
KJB Theaters said you can use gift cards at the theater until March 30th.
Any other updates or information on the new ownership can be found by visiting their Facebook page.