Varsity Theatre

1500 O Street,
Lincoln, NE 68508

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VARSITY Theatre; Lincoln, Nebraska.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built on the site of the Rialto Theatre. The Varsity Theatre opened on November 1, 1934 with Grace Moore in “One Night of Love”. Davis & Wilson were the architects. The Varsity Theatre was closed in 1941, and the ‘Varsity’ name was transferred to the former Oliver/Liberty Theatre on N. 13th Street.

On September 11, 1971, Walt Jancke, built the Cinemas 1 & 2 a block away. In 1973, the Varsity Theatre was demolished to make room for the National Bank of Commerce.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft, Howard B. Haas

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

lthomas on June 25, 2009 at 12:54 pm

Corrections: The first Varsity Theater (there were 2) opened in 1934 on the site of the old Rialto (1500 O Street). That theater closed in 1941, and the Varsity name went to 13th & P Streets, the location of the old Liberty Theater, which, in turn, replaced the Oliver (not Olivier) in 1924. The Oliver opened in 1889 as an opera house. Walt Jancke did not own the Varsity; he was city manager for Westland Theaters (owned by Larry Starsmore), based in Colorado Springs. They also owned the State Theater in Lincoln. When National Bank of Commerce bought the Varsity site, Westland built the Cinema Twin, Lincoln’s first “multiplex”.

DavidZornig on December 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Early `60’s photo added courtesy of William.

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