Sierra Theatre

210 E. State Street,
Jefferson, IA 50129

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Sierra Theater, Jefferson, Iowa

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened on December 17, 1884 as Head’s Opera House. It became the Iowa Theatre in 1935, operated by Finkelstein Theatres with seating listed at the time of 300. In the early-1940’s it fell under the Pioneer Theatres banner and then in 1975 Fridley Theatres took over with a complete remodel. It is still operated today by Fridley Theatres, single screen with first run attractions.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on June 30, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Here is part of a January 1958 article in the Jefferson Bee:

Cecil B DeMille’s production ‘The Ten Commandments’ will come to the Iowa Theater in Jefferson on Wednesday Feb 5 and will run through Saturday, Feb 15. The motion picture has received world-wide acclaim from the press, advance audiences and ministers of all faiths as an overwhelming motion picture experience.

Ten years in the planning, three years in research, three years in the writing and more than a year in the actual shooting, the picture is by far the biggest production in film history. A dramatization of the Book of Exodus, it stars Charlton Heston as Moses, Yul Brynner as his enemy, Pharaoh Rameses II, Anne Baxter, Edward G Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget and John Derek.

Starring also are Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson and Vincent Price. Extras number upwards of 25,000.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Don’t like the placement of the Marquee. It was called also in the seventies a Fridley-Luxury Theatre.Must have dropped the “Luxury”.

rivest266
rivest266 on December 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Fridley dropped it in 2012. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SierraCommunityTheatre

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2013 at 2:13 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Jefferson Square Historic District reveals that the Sierra Theatre was built in 1884 as Head’s Opera House, and was dedicated on December 17 that year. The theater was on the ground floor and a Masonic hall was upstairs. In 1914, the Masons bought the entire building.

The theater was extensively remodeled in 1916, as noted in the December 23 issue of The Moving Picture World, which said that iron columns had been removed and replaced by girders, and heating upgraded from wood stoves to a steam plant. Four boxes had been added, the stage had been remodeled, and new opera chairs installed. The opening program at the renovated house was Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation.

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