the historic fowler theatre

Fowler (Indiana) residents bring movie theater back to life

FOWLER — It’s 7 o’clock on a Sunday night. Tyler Bruner, 13, of Oxford, sits with two friends in the Fowler Theatre, waiting for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie to begin.

‘We don’t have a show in Oxford. It would be cool if we did,’ Bruner says. ‘So every other weekend, I’m here.’

In most small towns, downtown is dead, or at least comatose, on a Sunday night. The local movie theater, unable to turn a profit, closed 25 or 30 years ago.

But Fowler, population 2,413, is a happy exception. Thanks to a not-for-profit organization and more than 320 volunteers, the historic Fowler Theatre features a new movie each Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening.

Sometimes, all 196 seats are filled. It’s like a scene from 1957.

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