Webster Theater

610 2nd Street,
Webster City, IA 50595

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 12, 2018 at 5:46 pm

In early 1909, E. H. Martin’s son bought the Unique Theatre. A few months later the July 3 issue of The Improvement Bulletin reported that E.H.Martin had begun construction on a new building for the Unique Theatre. As there is no evidence that the Unique ever moved from its original location, I suspect that this project became the first Orpheum instead.

The project was designed by J. R. White, Webster City’s best known architect of the period, who had designed the Martin Telephone Company building in 1904. As Martin had hired White to design at least two projects prior to building the second Orpheum, it seems likely that he would have hired White for that job as well, though I haven’t found documentation that he did. Although the second Orpheum is more ornate than the first, the two buildings have certain elements in common, most notably the oblong, horizontal clerestory windows near the top of each facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 5, 2009 at 1:17 am

A tiny glimpse of the Webster Theater can be seen in this photo. It looks like the original Orpheum Theatre building is still standing next door. They could put a second screen for the Webster in there and have a hundred-year-old theater, sort of. But then, even having a 93-year-old theater is pretty impressive these days.

kencmcintyre on September 5, 2007 at 5:25 pm

This was one of many Pioneer Theaters in Iowa in the early sixties. Pioneer was based in St. Louis Park, MN. The president was Harold Field. Other Iowa theaters in the chain at that time were the Atlantic and Corral in Atlantic, the Carroll and Caroll Drive-In in Carroll, the Arrow, American and Corral in Cherokee, the Clarinda and Clarinda Drive-In in Clarinda, the Center in Grundy Center, the Iowa in Jefferson, the Corral and Perry in Perry, the Sac Theater in Sac City, the Corral and Spencer in Spencer, the Corral and Vista in Storm Lake and the Corral and Webster in Webster.