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rGreenRoom listing for the Orpheum:
rGreenRoom listing for the production there in 1923:
The history here seems to say that there were only films and vaudeville here after 1909. Vaudeville is, of course, live performances in the form of skits – musical acts, dances, maybe scenes, but not full plays. But I think it was probably vaudeville and a legitimate theater, with a few films, until the remodel in 1928. rGreenRoom has confirmed that there was at least one full length play performed there in 1923, produced by the local Weber College.
As of Jan 19, 2009 – the State Board of Finance as voted to lease the Hiland Theater to the National Dance Institute of New Mexico. NDI will be responsible for the renovation of the theater at an estimated cost of $9 million. The theater has been closed since 2004 when Musical Theater Southwest moved to their current home.
According to their website – this building has two theaters now and I’m not sure which one, or both, were the New Iris Theater. They are both at the same location and they both look old in the interior pictures but who knows. The first it the Desert Star Playhouse with 256 seats. This one has a cabaret setup with tables and chairs. The second is the Desert Star Dinner Theater with 223 seats. These seats are along looong tables that every eats at. The tables have chairs only along one side of course, the chairs facing the stage.
I went to this theater a couple of times while it was known as the American Legion. It was a large room with a stage where a band played if I remember correctly. I had no idea it had once been a theater. There are no seats inside anymore and the floor is flat hardwood. When I went there it was for line dancing, which I think they held every weekend. The last I heard it was still the American Legion and I’m assuming they are still there. They may still have the line dancing too. I don’t remember the lobby at all but I’m sure there was one. I came in and out through a side door instead.