Early Hammond Theaters
Visit the Towle Opera House
Long before the invention of motion pictures, Americans had to venture
out to the opera house for a bit of entertainment and culture. In
Hammond’s early days the city boasted three opera playhouses.
The Hohman Opera House was the city’s first, built by Caroline Hohman. It was located at the intersection of Hohman and State.
The second Opera House in Hammond was the Towle Opera House. It was built by Marcus M. Towle the wealthy capitalist who helped found the city of Hammond. The Towle Opera House was located along Hohman Avenue near Sibley Street.
The Towle Opera House entrance, located at the large “T” shaped sign to the left. Situated near the corner of Hohman and Sibley Street.
The new Towle Community Theatre is at the same site. It was built on a much smaller scale than its predecessor.
|Towle Opera House was by far
the most modern to date and the best equipped of any in the city. It was
referred to as Hammond’s Leading Playhouse. The Towle Opera House often showcased the best attractions
available in the region. In fact they were on par with the first class theatres in Chicago.
Huehn Hall served as the third opera house venue in the city; however it often functioned as more of a dance hall
than an opera house. There was a variety of movies, vaudeville acts, theater and opera all in downtown Hammond. Developing cities in the United States were proud to display the entertainment offerings of their community in attempt to show that their city had a lot of culture and was a good place to live. This attracted residents to the area.
This rare 1903 picture of the
interior of the Towle Theater shows two levels of box seats and the standard
that could be used for musicals, accompaniments and with the orchestra.
From the stage of the 1903 Towle Theater, two large balconies were awe inspiring to visitors and guests.