News and Tribune

April 4, 2013

Fire destroys historic Orleans movie theater

The Associated Press

ORLEANS — A historic southern Indiana theater has been destroyed by a fire that reduced the 120-year-old brick building to a pile of rubble.

The Times-Mail reported that flames destroyed the Orleans Theater within about 20 minutes Wednesday as its owner watched with tears in his eyes.

Owner Ray Thompson says he had visited the theater Wednesday morning to turn on the power and replace light bulbs in preparation for an art exhibit for the upcoming Dogwood Festival.

The fire’s cause hasn’t been determined.

Thompson says he planned to convert the remodeled theater into a dinner theater for the Orange County town about 80 miles south-southwest of Indianapolis.

The building was built in the 1890s as a dry goods store but was converted to a movie theater in the 1930s.