Palace Theater; Gary, Indiana
Designed by architect John Eberson, whose more than 100 movie palaces span the United States and the globe, Gary, Indiana’s Palace Theater opened in 1924 for use as venue for live stage shows, vaudeville acts, and motion pictures. Driven by the economic activity created by U.S. Steel’s Gary Works—the world’s largest steel mill at the time—the theater was the jewel of the city’s entertainment and dining district. When the mill’s production began to diminish in the 1950s, however, the theater began its lengthy decline. It shut down in 1972, and more than 30 years of decay and neglect have stripped the once-proud structure of many of its fine features and ornamentations.