Orpheum Theater

121 West Broadway Avenue,
Fairfield, IA 52556

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Orpheum Theater

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Opened on July 28th, 1910 as the Orpheum Theater. In 1940 the Orpheum Theater closed for remodeling. A contest was held to see who could come up with the best idea as to how the theater should be remodeled. Students from Parsons College came up with the best design idea.

When the theater reopened on Christmas Day in 1940, the name was changed to the Co-Ed Theater in honor of those students because Parsons College was a co-ed college. In 1984 the Co-Ed Theater was remodeled again. When it reopened in August of 1984, it was a twin screen theater. The Co-Ed Theater was closed on September 12, 2012.

By 2014 it had been taken over by independent operators Modern American Cinema and has been renovated. Again known as the Orpheum Theater, it has digital projection. Beer and wine is served. The north auditorium has a small stage to accommodate stage shows. Movies screened are a mixed content of blockbusters, independent, foreign and documentary.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

tinydr
tinydr on January 20, 2009 at 6:47 pm

If the Add Photo feature ever returned I’d upload that 2009 shot…

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 29, 2012 at 9:07 pm

The Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to says that Al Hauetter was the architect for the remodeling when the Orpheum in Fairfield was converted into the Co-Ed Theatre.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on October 29, 2012 at 10:46 pm

The theater has been closed since September 12, 2012, but a local not-for-profit group hopes to reopen it. There is an article about this effort here, but it requires a membership or subscription in order to read it in its entirety

tonischaer
tonischaer on October 26, 2014 at 3:59 pm

My father was projectionist at the Co-Ed sometime in the 50’s and again in the early 60’s. I remember the projection booth having 35 mm projectors then.

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