Metropolitan Theatre

515 Washington Avenue,
Iowa Falls, IA 50126

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The Metropolitan Opera House opened as a playhouse on December 27, 1899. Originally seating was provided for 441 in the orchestra and 390 in the balcony (total 831).

It was designed by Eugene S. Ellsworth of Iowa Falls. In recent years it was operated by Fridley Theatres, but in the mid-2000’s was taken over by the BigTime Cinema chain

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on October 12, 2008 at 11:30 am

There is a small photo of the Met on this site:

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 12, 2008 at 11:33 am

That link gives the name as Metropolitan Opera House.

kencmcintyre on October 12, 2008 at 12:19 pm

The additional information notes style is Italian Renaissance.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 24, 2009 at 10:49 am

Chuck….Here is the National Register information:

Metropolitan Opera House (added 1975 – Building – #75000690)
Also known as Met Theatre
515 Washington St., Iowa Falls

Historic Significance: Event, Architecture/Engineering
Architect, builder, or engineer: O'Meyer & Thori
Architectural Style: Renaissance, Other
Area of Significance: Architecture, Entertainment/Recreation
Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1900-1924
Owner: Private
Historic Function: Commerce/Trade, Recreation And Culture
Historic Sub-function: Specialty Store, Theater
Current Function: Commerce/Trade, Recreation And Culture
Current Sub-function: Specialty Store, Theater

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 24, 2009 at 11:02 am

Your doing great. I keep a link to that National Register information otherwise I’d probably have trouble finding it too. :)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on February 24, 2009 at 12:19 pm

From the National Register information, it might appear that O'Meyer & Thori were builders but they weren’t. Dietrich O'Meyer and Martin Thori were architects. This site claims that “In 1899 Ellsworth built the Metropolitan Opera House, a theater that was unsurpassed by any in the state.” It doesn’t mention anything about Ellsworth being an architect.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

This appears to be the correct spelling of the name of one of the architects of this theater: Didrik A. Omeyer. Somehow the NRHP document slipped an inapposite apostrophe into his surname. He was apparently of Norwegian ancestry, not Irish, and so was his partner Martin P. Thori. Their firm was located in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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