Ingersoll Theatre

3711 Ingersoll Avenue,
Des Moines, IA 50312

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Ingersoll Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened October 1, 1939, the Streamline-Moderne style Ingersoll Theatre was most recently home to a dinner theatre which has since closed. Further information on the Ingersoll would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Calmuse on September 26, 2007 at 2:50 pm

It’s good you shared that photo, Lost Memory. I haven’t lived in Des Moines for a long time, but I read somewhere there’s talk of the entire block being demolished.

Toward the end of it’s run as a cinema, the Ingersoll was an art house—some first-run films, some revivals. I saw a Bergman film or two there—can’t recall which. Also “Elvira Madigan” and Joseph Losey’s 1975 biopic of Galileo, based on the Bertolt Brecht play.

kencmcintyre on October 27, 2007 at 10:29 am

Here are some additional photos. The dinner theater closed in 2004, and although there has been interest in reuse, nothing has happened yet:

kencmcintyre on December 19, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Tri-State Theaters announced construction plans in January 1938. The theater opening was planned for July of that year.

kencmcintyre on February 5, 2010 at 4:26 pm

Here are some November 2009 articles about reuse of the Ingersoll:

beaslbob on March 29, 2013 at 10:44 am

I worked there in 1964 as a usher.

With the little suit, paper dickey, and flashlight.

Got to know every line of the longest day, a walt disney file tomensina(spelling), a full length yogy bear animation, how the west was won and probaly others I would rather forget.

They also had Cleopatra for a long run months before the glitzy hollywood premier. All reserved seating for that one.

With the attendance even then I think it is amazing it stayed open for so long.

But fun days never the less.

BillyOK on January 31, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I lived in Des Moines in 1980-1981.

I’ve been tooling around the city via Google Street Maps. Came upon the Ingersoll Theater. It appears that it has been turned into some teen/young adult Party Palace? They mention 2 parties coming up. One on a Friday and the other on a Saturday.

The theater itself appears to be in good shape, at least from the outside. The map with the actual photography is from 2012, so not to long ago.

rivest266 on November 28, 2015 at 10:47 am

October 1st, 1939 grand opening ad in photo section.

uptownjen on January 23, 2016 at 6:47 pm

bliddel on February 3, 2016 at 9:46 am

Going through some really old papers, I found my mother’s Social Security card and pay stubs from the TriState theater, which apparently became the Ingersoll. She apparently worked at Tri-State for about 18 months, in 1940 and 1941, before WW2, and made a whopping $1.98 (after two cents of retirement taxes), per week!

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