INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – 2016 is an important year here in Indiana, it’s the state’s bicentennial year. 2016 also marks 30 years since the movie Hoosiers was released.
24-Hour News 8 went to Knightstown where the Hoosier Gym is now a landmark and a museum.
From the outside, It looks like any other gym in Indiana. But on the inside, time stands still, 30 years after the movie Hoosiers made it famous.
“So about a third of the movie was done here.” Neil Shaneyfelt President of the group who maintains the gymnasium said.
It was built in 1922 but closed in 1966, by the early 80’s it saw little use.
“The rumor around town here was this gym was up for destruction. They were ready to abandon it.” Shaneyfelt said.
But in 1985, Hollywood saved it.
Almost over night, Knightstown’s old high school gym became home to Gene Hackman’s Hickory Huskers.
And It’s is now a must see for families like the Vick’s
“We live in Weaver Alabama,” Ben Vick said.
But Vick is no stranger to Indiana, he grew up here.
He was in town for a family reunion. They chose to have it at the Hoosier Gym because Hoosiers is their favorite film.
“We always are quoting parts of the movie so it seemed fitting.” Vick added.
The story is loosely based on the Milan high school team that won the state championship in 1954.
Filming took place over the course of just 3 months. But it left a lifetime of memories.
“A lot of visitors come here that never heard of the Milan story but just love the movie on it’s face value the movie Hoosiers is just a great movie.” Shaneyfelt said.
But for folks here in Indiana, Hoosiers is more than a movie, more than a story.
“When you think of Indiana most people think of basketball.” Shaneyfelt said.
The Hoosier Gym is open almost every day and it can be rented out.
Also, to celebrate the 30th anniversary, the town plans to hold a special banquet in the fall.
For more information on the historic gym click here.