Palace Theater

212 Sycamore Street,
Muscatine, IA 52761

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The Palace Theater was opened in 1914. It burnt down in 1944. A new Palace Theater was built, and opened May 29, 1945 and closed around 1960.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Muscatine had two Palace Theatres. An item in the May 5, 1945, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that Fox Midwest had announced that the opening of the new Palace Theatre was scheduled for May 8. The item said that the new house replaced a theater of the same name which had burned the previous year. It didn’t say if the new theater was on the same site as the original Palace.

An article about Ludy Bosten, a long-time Muscatine exhibitor, published in Boxoffice Magazine on April 9, 1962, said that he had operated the Palace Theatre for a time, but didn’t specify the period. It did say that the Palace had closed two years earlier, though, suggesting that he had taken over the second Palace, perhaps in the early 1950s when various Fox operating companies were required by the courts to divest themselves of many of their theaters.

The 1940s were a bad time for Muscatine’s historic theaters. The Grand burned down the same year the new Palace opened.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 19, 2014 at 8:01 pm

The May 25, 1945, issue of the Muscatine Journal said that the new Palace Theatre would open on May 29. One courtesy advertisement congratulated the Bosten family on their new theater, so they were the owners even then.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

A section about the A-Muse-U Theatre on this web page says that E. M. Henley built the Palace Theatre in 1914. The Palace Theatre was listed at 212 Sycamore Street in the 1916 Muscatine city directory.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2014 at 11:30 am

Three pages of historic photos of Muscatine theaters, including a 1940 shot of the original Palace, were published in Muscatine Magazine, issue of Winter, 2012.

I can’t find a direct link to the exact page the article starts on. It only opens to the cover of the magazine. Click the arrow to the right of the cover to turn the page three times to reach the theater article. Click on the image of the magazine itself to enlarge it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

This item from the July 19, 1913, issue of The American Contractor is probably about the Palace Theatre, which was originally owned by E. M. Henle:

“Muscatine, Ia.—Motion Picture Theater (seating 700): 3 sty. & bas. 50x 100. Muscatine. Archt. J. H. Ladehoff, Wolfe bldg., Clinton, Ia. Owner E. M. Henle, Muscatine. Plans in progress.”
Architect John H. Ladehoff also designed the Orpheum Theatre in Clinton, built in 1907.

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