IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Historic Preservation & Archaeology > Learn About Topics > Historic Theaters > The Stanley Griffith Historic Theater Photo Collection > A Biography of Stanley Griffith A Biography of Stanley Griffith

Stanley Griffith grew up with the movie theater. Stanley’s father, Aaron H. Griffith, had a job popping corn probably around 1930, the year he graduated from Spencer High School, at The Campbell Theatre which was located on the south side of Spencer's square. Shortly after that time, the Campbell Theatre closed because of the new more modern Tivoli (located just north of the square). The Campbell Theatre was reopened under the name Avalon Theatre in 1934. Aaron, was now projectionist; he met his soon to be wife (Helen Raper) when she worked as a cashier in the box office at the Avalon. The Avalon closed in 1936.

By 1938, both of Stanley’s parents had their old jobs back, only this time they were at the Tivoli. They were married in 1940.

Aaron was taken into the I.A.T.S.E. Local #618 of the projectionist Union in 1939.

Stanley started working at the Tivoli in 1960, when his father got him a job. Stanley worked his way up, until he was skilled and knowledgeable as a projectionist. At this time, he also worked as a projectionist for the Record’s Drive-in. He left the Tivoli in 1967. He moved to Bloomington, where he started working at the Princess Theater in 1969 as the projectionist. He kept this job until 1981.

Stanley started collecting films. His passion required a projector, so he started traveling around to closing theaters in southern Indiana. A he traveled around the state, he also took photos of various theaters.

In 2006, Stanley allowed the Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology to scan his photo collection so that preservationists would have access to these historic photos.