The Ideal Theater is long gone, replaced by a parking lot for a Domino’s Pizza shack. Originally built in 1912 at 2315 West Market Street just down from St. Anthony’s Church, the masonry theater was noted for its glazed brick facade, monumental detailing, and imposing pilasters. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
The photo above was presumably taken in the Spring of 1983 when the boarded up building appears to have been a failing adult theater with a large for sale sign on the front. No architect is listed, but the structure lends a true monumental scale to Market Street. The scale can be deceiving until you notice the man standing in front of the Ideal.
I’m not sure when or why the building was demolished but it’s certainly not to be found on West Market now. I have walked by the former site but never bothered to take a photo of the parking lot at Market Street’s dogleg. An empty parking lot just isn’t that exciting. In 1983, the building was judged to be in fair condition.
A much smaller and less ornate glazed brick structure with similar pilasters is on Seventh Street in Limerick (see photo below). It’s currently home to the B.C. Plumbing Supply (which, incidentally has one of the best neon signs in Louisville). Is the resemblance just a coincidence or did this Limerick building once show movies as well? Could those windows once have served as ticket sales kiosks?