Family Theatre

539 Locust Street,
Des Moines, IA 50309

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dallasmovietheaters on February 21, 2016 at 7:20 am

Opened as the Radium Theatre on May 30, 1907, the theatre went out of business within three months reopening on Thanksgiving of 1907 as the rebranded Family Theatre. Harry Hiersteiner ran the Family as an independent for 37 of the 46 years facing stiff competition from the major circuits.

But the TV age was unkind to the Locust Street theatres as the Garden/Rocket, Strand and Family closed consecutively. The final show for the Family was “Venus in Peek-a-Boo” September 13, 1953. Two months later, the struggling Grand Theatre would burn to the ground as Des Moines pre-palace era movie theaters continued their rapid descent.

flickaguy on November 28, 2012 at 3:32 pm

In Bill Bryson’s paperback book “The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid” is a photo of the Family Theater on page 2. I can’t read all the marquee but it says “DOPE INFERNO”, “SHAME”, “HORROR” and “DESPAIR”. I can’t read the title of the movie. Does anyone know what the title might be? Thanks, JH.