Madame Walker Theatre Center: An Indianapolis Treasure
by A’Lelia Bundles
Publication Date: Oct 14, 2013
List Price: $26.99 (store prices may vary)
Imprint: Arcadia Publishing
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing
Parent Company: Arcadia Publishing
As they watched construction of the block-long flatiron building brick by brick throughout 1927, African American residents of Indianapolis could scarcely contain their pride. This new headquarters of the Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, with its terra-cotta trimmed facade, was to be more than corporate offices and a factory for what then was one of America’s most successful black businesses. In fact, it was designed as "a city within a city," with an African Art Deco theater, ballroom, restaurant, drugstore, beauty salon, beauty school, and medical offices. Generations of African American families met for Sunday dinner at the Coffee Pot, enjoyed first-run movies and live performances in the Walker Theatre, and hosted dances in the Casino. Today, this National Historic Landmark is an arts center anchoring the Indiana Avenue Cultural District.