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The State Theatre was damaged in a fire on Wednesday November 17,2010. Fire officials said a discarded cigarette in a trash can in the third floor projection booth was the cause. The theatre suffered heavy damage to the booth an considerable smoke and water damage to the rest of the structure. No word yet on a rebuilding plan.
Reading the local newspaper online for Souix lookout I see the theatre has reopened, Great news for the locals
When we were remodeling the Princess Theatre in the early 80’s I had a guy come into the lobby and started telling stories of the theatre. One was that the old boy that was the projectionist lived in a room off to the side of the booth.He was married but this booth was his life. The manager never had to remind him of showtime but…when the movie did'nt start the manager went up to see what was wrong. Well the old fella was dead sitting in a chair in his little room. I do recall taking all the stuff out of that room
The 1987 photo is not of the Monte Theatre in Monticello, Iowa
Bev Mahon owner of the Varsity passed away friday March 27th 2009. He had owned The Varsity since 1954. He also owned theatres in Pella Iowa,Sioux City Iowa and Omaha Nebraska until settling into The Varsity. A true showman that will be missed by all
I believe the World was owned at one time by Roy Metcalf. He aso owned The Times Theatre in Cedar Rapids and also owned the Evans Theatre in Anamosa Iowa
Dennis Voy along with his late wife Nancy owned The Monte Theatre in Monticello Iowa from about 1974 to around 1977 when he sold it Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa
The Sunset was purchased by Gerald Peterson of Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa in 1969. I believe we purchased it from Claude Waskow who owned the restaurant an few doors to the east. It was scrubed, cleaned, painted along with a remodel of the lobby and restrooms. It opened on Christmas day of 1969 and was open until about 1983.
The address would be in the 100 block of 2nd Ave NE on the east side of the street
The Grand Theatre was purchased in 1975 by Gerald Peterson of Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa. It was interesting in the fact that it had a balcony with 25 or so seats in it.Restrooms were in behind the stage in the basement. It operated until the mid to late 80’s when I believe the Eldora New Providence School systems Voc- Ed class undertook the gutting and remodel of the Grand and was re-opened as a dollar house run by a group of volunteers
The Fox Theatre was purchased in 1983 by Peterson Theatres Of Waverly Iowa from Central States Theatres of Des Moines Iowa. With a lot of scrubing, cleaning painting ect we then installed new seating, projection equipment including a platter and new sound.It was reopened on christmas day 1983.
The Center Theatre was purchased in 1967 by Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa. I think the the previous owner was Sam Backburn. My father remodeled The Center in about four months opening on Christmas day 1967 showing Disneys Jungle Book What a response we recieved from the people of Grundy Center. The theatre closed in 1983-1984 or so and sold to the local committee who once again revived The Center. Today it is a 99 cent theatre with a huge following
Dennis Voy was also part owner of The Malek in Independence and The Castle in Manchester Iowa in the late 70’s early 80’s with co owner Gerald Peterson of Peterson Theatres of Waverly, Iowa
Carl Schwanabeck is back running The Village. It must be something about this business that gets in your blood because Carl has to be in his 80’s now and still at it
The Camden was owned by William and Sidney Volk of the Minnehaha Theatre Corp. At one time or another the Volks also owned The Nile, The Riverview,The New Ray, The Falls, The Robin, and The Terrace all in the Minneapolis area
The address for The Falls was listed as 3954 Minnehaha Ave Minneapolis Minnesota and operated from 1933 to 1948 William and Sidney Volks theatres were called Minnehaha Theatre Corp.
The Mayfair was built in 1954 and is still owned by the original owners. Mr Boles closed the Mayfair this week due to lack of patronage.
The Paramount Theatre was owned for years by Central States Theatres of Des Moines Iowa. In 1975 some kids were playing with fire behind the hardware store next to the theatre and it set the store on fire. The Oelwein Fire Department answered the call and put out the blaze. What wasn’t known was that the fire had gotten into The Paramount through a hole in the fire wall. The Paramount was destroyed by the blaze and several firefighters were injured. Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa purchased the Paramount and completly renovated it into a 360 seat theatre and renaming it The Capri. It reopened on Christmas Day 1975. In 1980 or so The Capri was twined into two 175 seat auditoriums. In 1986 The Capri was sold to Friedley Theatres and renamed The Paramount. Soon afterwords Friedley purchased the building next door and added the third screen.
The Firemens Theatre was purchased by Peterson Theatres of Waverly Iowa in 1974 from Ray Klenski and Ray Huffman. For a small town theatre it was huge in size. In its early days it was used as a vaudeville theatre complete with an orchestra pit and dressing rooms under the stage. If you look at Lost Memories photo of the theatre you will notice that there was a scene drop at the rear of the building that was used in the vaudeville days. It also had cat walks for the stage hands. The Firemens was closed in the mid 80’s and sold to a local investor who completely renovated it to become a live performance theatre once again. One live performer was Jerry Reed. The Firemens was a victim of arson in the late 1980’s of which nobody was ever convicted.
I was the manager of The Riverview Theatre in 1973-1974. It is a beautiful theatre that was way ahead its time in its design. I worked for Sidney Volk and he was an interesting person to say the least. Another thing that The Riverview had that you don’t find in a theatre today was smoking loges. This was a seating area further towards the back of the theatre. The seats were vinyl covered in this area instead of the normal cloth coverings in the rest of the auditorium and had ash trays. We even had a cigarette vending machine in the lobby. I quit The Riverview in March of 1974 to moved back to Iowa and work for my parents theatre chain, Peterson Theatres. I recieved a very nice scrap book of pictures and different items of interest of The Riverview from one of the employees and will try to post them some day
The Village Theatre was purchased by Carl Schwanabeck and a partner by the last name of Kerr in 1960. In 1970 Schwanabeck and Kerr disolved their partnership with Schwanabeck buying the Village. Carl also owned The Hi Vue Drive In built in 1964 after The Army Corp of Engineers bought out The Frontier Drive In for the Red Rock Dam project. The Frontier was built in 1952. Carl also owned The Tomahawk theatre in Indianola, Iowa
The Waverly Theatre building was built in 1927-1928. What I do know about past ownership goes back to the 40s when the Hageman family owned it. I believe they sold it to Ernie and Dorthy Thies in the early 50s. The Thies’s then built the Waverly Auto Vue Drive-in east of town in about 1952 or 1953. Dorthy Thies then sold the theatres to my father Gerald Peterson in 1964 and took over on January 1st of 1965. Over the next 31 years he also owned these theatres in Iowa. the Center in Grundy Center, the Sunset in Sumner the Firemans in New Hampton, the Avalon in West Union,the Grand in Eldora, the Capri in Oelwein, the Monte in Monticello, the Evans in Anamosa, the Fox in Fort Madison and the Princess in Eagle Grove. He was also part owner of the Malek in Independence and the Castle in Manchester