The Historic Broadway Theater

One of the most interesting parts of Launch Louisville is hidden away above the ceiling tiles. Weis located in the Historic Broadway Theater, whose stage legends such as Ozzy Osborne, Black Sabbath, Pink Floyd, and Santana once performed.


The Broadway Theater was built in 1915, first as a stage theater, then as a movie theater, finally as a music venue that held its last show in 1980. The family who launched a local commercial furniture company purchased the building, saved it from demolition, and turned it into offices and a furniture showroom. They left the main theater mostly untouched, where the ruins of the theater can be viewed today.

Broken Sidewalk Article, 11.10.2018

  • Designed by Louisville Architectural firm Joseph & Joseph

  • 1914-1915: built by Louis F. Steuerle and partners

  • May 1915: opened seating capacity 800

  • Acoustics were reported to be nearly perfect as any building of its kind.

  • Situated on the south side of Broadway on a 70-by-150 foot lot. 

  • 1930s: The marquee was added. 

  • 1930-1959: Eugene Steuerle, nephew of Louis Steuerle, operated the theater as a movie house. 

  • 1960: The Catholic Theater Guild purchased the Broadway Theater for $25,000. 

  • 1961: The Guild planned to restore the ornate auditorium and stage to its original grandeur serving as the home for the Guild's amateur productions. 

  • February 14, 1970: The Guild held its last performance  

  • The Broadway Theater became the Mad Hatters Nightclub featuring rock groups such as Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osborne and 

  • Later 1970s: Charles Beckham ran for Congress with the Broadway Theater as his campaign office. 

  • Early 1980s: Broadway Theater was unoccupied for several years. 

  • Mid 1980s: Building slated for demolition.

  • January 1, 1985: Business Office Supply Company took possession of the Broadway Theater. 

  • Building was restored to as much of its vintage glory as possible and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

  • December 16, 1985: Bosco Budget Office Furniture opened its doors for business at the Broadway Theater - 816 E. Broadway. 

  • July 1993: Bosco, Intecon and O'Connor & Raque merged to form ORI. The facility was remodeled for the new ORI corporate headquarters, where it remained until January 2018.

  • Fall 2018: Launch Louisville, a collaborative entrepreneurial community was formed and started the next chapter for Louisville's historic Broadway Theater.