The 1927 Indiana Theater is the largest theater ever built in Indianapolis. Architects Rubush and Hunter designed the six-story building faced in white glazed terra cotta in the Spanish Baroque style. The central bay of the exterior is overwhelmed with delicately carved terra cotta. The theater ended up costing $1.5 million when it was completed. In addition to the stunning main façade, great expense was taken with the interior. The lobby is an assault on the senses with marble, molded plaster, decorative tile and a myriad of colors. Still more money was allocated for state of the art technology of the time. The theater was equipped with air conditioning and the 6th floor ballroom had a “sea breeze” where outside air passed over iced salt water in the summer and warmed salt water in the winter to give the effect of a real Spanish town. There was an elevator lift in the orchestra pit that allowed for performances at either stage level or floor level. Yet another lift was installed for the Barton organ so that moving it around was an easier task.
The theater continued to host live acts until it closed in 1975. The Indiana Repertory Theater moved into the theater in 1980 and from 1997-2001 undertook a series of renovations to various portions of the theater.