Princess Theatre

112 N. Market Street,
Ottumwa, IA 52501

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This theatre was in existence around 1920.

There is no other description available for this theatre. If you know anything about this theatre, please email us!

Contributed by Bob Jensen

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

MiltonSmith on July 15, 2008 at 7:50 pm

I think I might have some info. that sheds light on this theater and why no one can find info. on it.

According to the local history, the building located at 108 to 112 N. Market Street is known as the Benson Block and was originally built in 1924 as a theater. However, there were not enough exits built in to the building so it was never used for that purpose. So, it seems the Princess Theater may have never been a theater after all!

Here are some pics to the building as it looks today. As well as other theaters in Ottumwa, IA.

There is also links to pics of other theaters, in Ottumwa, IA in this set of photos.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

The Princess Theatre is one of five movie houses listed for Ottumwa in the 1922-1923 edition of the Film Daily Yearbook.

SethG on June 20, 2015 at 8:36 pm

According to the NRHP listing for the Benson Block, the theater was under construction in 1924, but there was a requirement for rear fire exits. Since the site is very shallow (being the north half of a building that ran down to the corner before a fire damaged it), there was no room for the exits, and it sat empty until 1935. So no, it never was a theater. They never even finished the interior.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 21, 2015 at 12:04 am

The Princess Theatre in Ottumwa was also mentioned in the August, 1918, issue of Theatre Magazine, so it predated the Benson Block by several years.

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