Family Theater

324 W. 3rd Street,
Davenport, IA 52801

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I have a postcard of the Family Theater in Davenport dated 1913. I believe my grandfather, John Mallin, helped decorate this theater in 1913. Does anyone know about the history of this theater and what happened to it?

Contributed by Kathy Mallin

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 5, 2009 at 4:23 pm

The Family Theater is listed in the 1935 Film Daily as closed with 400 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 11, 2011 at 4:01 am

The Family Theatre at Davenport was mentioned in The Moving Picture World of July 12, 1913. The item said the house had booked “The Battle of Gettysburg” for Labor Day.

Motion Picture World of August 21, 1915, also mentioned the Family Theatre. The brief item said that the theater was being remodeled into a “…first class motion picture house….” at a cost of $10,000, and would be expanded to seat over 700 patrons. It was scheduled to reopen that month.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 25, 2013 at 9:35 pm

This page from Facebook user Davenport Iowa History has a photo of 3rd Street west from Harrison Street taken “about 1908” showing the American Theatre in the distance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 25, 2013 at 11:01 pm

The 1913 reference to the Family Theatre I cited in an earlier comment was not about this theater. Another 1913 Moving Picture World item about the Family gave the address as 215 Third Street. That was the house that later became the State Theatre.

That means the photo currently displayed above must depict the earlier Family Theatre as well. The American Theatre must have been renamed the Family Theatre sometime after 1913, but how long after I have no idea.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 25, 2013 at 11:35 pm

Page 40 of Davenport, by Doug Smith (Google Books preview), features a 1920 photo of the Family Theatre at 215 West Third Street, so the American could not have been renamed the Family any earlier than that year.

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