(Courier file photo by Renee Bruck/rbruck@madisoncourier.com)
(Courier file photo by Renee Bruck/rbruck@madisoncourier.com)
Historic Hoosier Theater officials will roll out the red carpet Saturday in celebration of the return of movies to the Vevay venue following a hiatus of more than a half century.

The grand opening premiere will help to kick off the start of monthly movie nights at one of the oldest commercial structures in the downtown area. The premiere will begin at 7 p.m. and will feature “A Girl Named Sooner,” the only movie ever made in Vevay.

The movie focuses on a young girl in the hills of Indiana who was abandoned by her family but raised by a bootlegger before being taken by authorities and made the ward of a childless couple. The film – released in 1975 – features Lee Remick, Richard Crenna, Don Murray and Cloris Leachman, as well as several local people who served as extras in the film.

The premiere is just another chapter in the storied history of the Vevay building, which was built in 1837 as a store and warehouse.

The building housed a saddlery, the post office, newspaper offices and a tavern before becoming a movie theater for the first time in 1926.

The theater went dark in 1955 and remained unoccupied for the most part of 28 years. A group of residents, business leaders and community organizations joined together to bring new life to the building in 1983 before presenting its first theatrical performance about four years later.

The Historic Hoosier Theater has been the venue for live performances and a place for civic events since then.

Advance tickets – which are $3 – are available through the Switzerland County Visitors’ Center at 128 W. Main St. in Vevay or by calling (812) 427-3237 to purchase via credit card.

Tickets also will be available at the Historic Hoosier Theater, 209 Ferry St. in Vevay, the night of the premiere until the event sells out.