Watts Theatre Maintains Historic Charm While Meeting Current Film Demands

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on April 5, 2016 at 2:19 pm


The Watts Theatre is a recognizable feature on Osage, Iowa’s Main Street. The neon lights with the chrome, pink and teal facade stick out among the more subdued buildings on the street.

“A lot of people will come in and say, ‘Gosh, I haven’t been here since I was a kid and not a lot has changed,’” owner Tracy Walk said.

The Watts Theatre first opened in 1950, owned by Jim Watts and his family.

At the time, the theater could seat 580 movie-goers and the building featured an apartment upstairs where the Watts family lived, according to Walk.

The apartment features a viewing room that looks out into the theater…

Over the years, the theater had been closed, repaired and remodeled. According to Walk, Paul and Gloria Bunge purchased and restored the building to its 1950s charm in the 1990s.

The theater is now digital and featured upgraded Dolby sound.

“We get a lot of people coming from out of town, and they really like it because it’s different, it doesn’t look modern,” Walk said. “It has modern sound and picture. The theater itself is more retro.”

Read more about the Watts Theatre in Osage, Iowa, in the Mitchell County Press News: http://globegazette.com/mcpress/news/iowa/watts-theatre-maintains-historic-charm-while-meeting-current-film-demands/article_b87239bf-d49f-5cc8-a10f-e5fd712f39fc.html

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres in the THS American Theatre Architecture Archives and on our website at historictheatres.org

Photos courtesy of Cinema Treasures.


Comments (3)

pnelson on April 6, 2016 at 4:42 am

A charming post art deco stylized facade. Marquee and blade sign are handsome. Any interior pics?

MPol on April 7, 2016 at 7:26 pm

Everything old is new again, if one gets the drift!

Keith on April 13, 2016 at 10:02 pm

auditorium http://www.film-tech.com/warehouse/pics/owatt/owatt12.jpg

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