Movie Buff builds Tribute to Auburn's old Court Theatre

By Eric Olson

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 28, 2010 at 5:44 PM EDT

WARSAW, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--For Decades it was the place to go on Auburn’s courthouse square to watch Bogart, Gable and Garbo in the latest Hollywood classic. The magnificent Court Theatre, built to resemble a European town square, so classy the Auburn Automobile Company used to debut new cars on its stage. The Court is long gone but part of it lives on, in Chad Curtis’s basement.

“Every kid needs a way to escape,” says Curtis as he leads us to his basement. “And the movie theatres were my way of doing that.”

Curtis fell in love with movies and movie theatres as a kid growing up in Warsaw. He loved theatres so much he dreamed of building one in his home when he grew up.

“It’s the man cave that got out of control is what it is. I don’t know that I’ve met anybody that’s a movie theatre nut like me!”

In 1992 Curtis found a couple of dozen seats from Auburn’s Court Theatre in a Churubusco church. He rebuilt them and began creating his basement movie palace. He’s added a snack room and a bar, and papered the walls with classic film posters. He shows classic films on a wide screen tv.

“To go to a theatre it, wasn’t something to waste two hours on,” he says. “It was an experience that you thought of all week until you went to the next one. It’s taken up half my house now it’s never gonna end it’s always gonna be bigger I’m always gonna find some new thing to stick down here I think.

A classic in the making, honoring a classic long gone. A labor of love, for a grown up, love-struck kid out in ‘Your Country.’

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