Even though they are currently not open for movie showings, Germantown’s By-Jo theater is available for private rentals. You can rent out the theater for your own private showings, bring your own blue-ray or other form of recording that can be played through their computer on and rates are quite reasonable: Parties of 1-40 people $80; 41-70 people $120! Concession packages available for soda, popcorn and candy. With approval by management, you can bring in pizza or cake. They also have a 2nd floor banquet room, just perfect for bridal showers or small banquets for up to 50 guests, however it is not handicapped accessible.
If you have questions or want to book your party at the By-Jo please call CoraAnn at 812-290-1644!!
The By-Jo Theatre was originally opened in downtown Germantown in the 1920’s. In the “olden days,” the silent films were accompanied by music from a player piano, later owner, Johnny Bankerd, actually play the piano. There were no refreshments on which to munch during the early days at the By-Jo, and anyone sneaking in hard tack, licorice twists, or, heaven forbid, ice cream ‘dopes’, would get the less-than-royal heave-ho! There continued to be quite a following of the “picture shows,” and in 1926, the theatre was relocated to its current location at 20 North Main Street. Ticket prices went up to 10 cents, and the decorum of watching picture shows was strictly monitored by the new owners, Ron and Ann Emrick. Following the death of Ron Emrick, the By-Jo closed, but was later re-opened to movie-goers by The Germantown Lions Club. The movie house closed again in 1969, and remained vacant, haunted by the ghosts of Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rogers, Gloria Swanson, Mary Pickford, Nelson Eddy, Lionel Barrymore, John Wayne, Jimmy Cagney, Jimmy Stewart, and Popeye, the Sailor Man, until 1986, when it was purchased and completely refurbished by Don (Scotty) and Barb Allen of Germantown. It ran for 33 years under their guidance.
Brian and CoraAnn Tarbox took over the theater in December of 2019 and had been running it for just about 3 months when the Governor’s orders to shut down came. CoraAnn shares it’s been a struggle to stay afloat, because even though they haven’t been able to open, they still have a mortgage and utilities to pay. They’ve decided not to reopen while the county is under a Level 3, which means all guests would need to wear a mask indoors, and they don’t want to have to become the mask police and they want to be sure all their guest can be safe and healthy.
In the meantime they’ve had a popcorn and candy sale, printed and sold souvenir t-shirts. CoraAnn Brian says the outpouring of support from the Germantown community has been overwhelming,” and she can’t wait to be able to open again.