Astra Theater Memory History

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With dank lights and cloudy windows, the Astra is carefully tucked into Jasper’s square. A once gloomy reminder of the past, is and will be graciously reborn. An Astra Theater ticket stub holds beautiful memories for old and young. An Astra ticket stub holds the memories of the wonderful history, grimm closing, and a new start. Already being a successful man, Bernie Gutzweiler owned the Tivoli, a furniture company, and worked at a butcher shop. For reasons unknown, he decided to build another theater. Construction, by local man Andy Berger, began to build the beautiful Astra Theater in October of 1935, right on the same downtown Jasper square where the Tivoli stood. Many memories such as the Mills Brothers ' performance and the act of Benny…show more content…
Bernie gave credit to people who could not pay during the Great Depression. Although racism was still showing through, he let anyone come into his theater. Even the Mills Brothers’, who had performed for the king and queen, were shunned when wanting to buy a room at ___ and ____. Graciously, Bernie brought them to his own home, where they stayed. (Gutzweiler 1) Buzzing with excitement, the theater hosted the first national screening of “A League of Their Own” on July 1, 1992 (Heeke 1). The Astra was one of the first to have air conditioning, to emphasize this, they put up penguin posters to bring people in. Some went, not to see the movies, but to feel the air conditioning.The cost being 12 to 10 cents, was a good deal to cool off and watch a movie, so the theater became a very popular place. Although the effects of the Great Depression seemed to have impacted other Indiana theaters, the Astra remained strong. Bernie used to say, “Now this is the business to be into; where everybody pays.” (Gutzweiler…show more content…
All the excitement starting when Jasper locals Heath Kluemper, Patrick Norris, and Kyle Rupert, approached a Lottery booth while attending a Colts game in Indianapolis. When asked what would be done if they had won, they said they would buy and restore the Astra theater. “We’ve always loved movies, and the Astra is such a staple in the community. It has a lot of history and it still resonates with people,” says Kluemper. Spokesman Al Larson and the staff running the lottery picked six for new commercials that they thought “stood out and captured the essence of what it means to be a Hoosier” in the “Imagine That” campaign. (Sondeen
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