It was located at 240 North Illinois Street in Indianapolis. Opened as the Colonial Theatre on Thanksgiving weekend (November 22) of 1909. First presenting vaudeville, then movies. A Robert Morton organ was installed on May 29, 1927. In 1929 it became a burlesque theatre, and on April 2, 1937 was briefly renamed Empress Theatre, until December 25 1937 when it was renamed Fox Theatre, still presenting burlesque.

It was eventually turned into a porn theatre screening adult movies which closed in late-December 1975. There were plans proposed to convert it into the Victoria Palace Dinner Theatre, but these never came about and the building was demolished. Today the site is the location of the American United Life Insurance building on North Illinois Street.


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH CHANNEL 8) — John’s Famous Stew since 1911 on the city’s near southwest side will not reopen its doors after closing during the pandemic, the restaurant said Saturday.

The restaurant, which counts David Letterman among its fans, had been open at its Kentucky Avenue location for more than 40 years but started out on West Washington Street, where two brothers who settled in the city in 1911 sold stew made like what their mother had cooked in Macedonia in the late 1800s. After World War II, a nephew named John moved the restaurant to East South Street, where it gained a reputation, the restaurant’s website says.

That recipe was carried over to 1146 Kentucky Ave., where diners could order the beef stew in mild, medium or hot and with a number of additions, including extra bread, beans and hot peppers. They also served “John’s Famous Tenderloin Supreme,” a breaded tenderloin smothered in stew, and a number of other hearty dishes.