Ioka Theater

55 Water Street,
Exeter, NH 03833

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IOKA Interior, Stage

Built in 1915, the Ioka Theatre is one of the dwindling number of independent movie theaters in the country.

Featuring a main auditorium of almost 500 seats, it offers the largest screen in the area with an updated state-of-art sound system. Architecturally, it is a brick building that blends in with the much earlier structures that fill downtown Exeter.

Recently, a second screen was added in the restored basement that was once the Rockingham County YMCA. This theater converts into an Art Deco night club on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

The Ioka Theatre was closed in December 2008.

Contributed by John Elwood, William Hochstedler

Recent comments (view all 41 comments)

John
John on November 29, 2011 at 7:03 am

The IOKA will be auctioned on Thursday!

http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20111129-NEWS-111290319

exetertheater
exetertheater on December 3, 2011 at 11:15 am

the theater will be a theater again – sign up at www.exetertheater.org for future news

MPol
MPol on March 18, 2012 at 4:03 am

I may not live in the area, but I do hope that the Ioka Theatre can be re-opened and saved as a movie theatre. I live roughly an hour or two south of Exeter, NH, and, as a moviegoer, it sounds like a great idea. I wish the townspeople the best of luck and victory in their fight to save the Ioka.

TrevorBartlett
TrevorBartlett on April 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Here’s a link to a video from a rally to save the IOKA theater held on March 30, 2013.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjmW9rQc2b4&feature=share&list=UUgKsIcJjoR26_K6ZNcEYAHQ

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on May 11, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Mid `30’s photo added courtesy of Walter Bell.

2014 article below courtesy of Patricia Lane Evans. Copy and paste to view.

http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20140819/NEWS/408190354

TJinSF
TJinSF on July 27, 2020 at 2:34 pm

https://www.unionleader.com/news/local/exeter-commission-vote-would-force-new-ioka-owners-to-keep-marquee/article_522a20f1-7938-5087-a283-b92abcdedd55.html?fbclid=IwAR1lTsRmPFadXaX5l6_HgkQqxsatNM0q4wCbwFyacu-WpkCS0h1Y5tGn3Ho

A report about the proposed redevelopment of the building and a dispute over whether the marquee will stay or go.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on July 27, 2020 at 3:18 pm

They need to get a second opinion, because that does not look like a $200K+ marquee restoration task. It is basically just a light box with can lights on the underside. If it wasn’t still structurally sound, it would likely have supports beneath it. They should confirm whether the plastic panels can be replaced by LED panels. That would likely be the most expensive element. The rest is just labor to sand, repaint and update the underside fixtures.

TJinSF
TJinSF on August 2, 2020 at 11:03 pm

My impression was that the anticipated restoration cost was perhaps inflated in order to give the developer another reason not to have to compromise the views from the potentially affected units. That seems to me to be the real rub here.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on November 3, 2020 at 8:39 am

Marquee looking for a new home…

https://www.seacoastonline.com/story/news/local/exeter-news-letter/2020/11/02/new-home-wanted-exeters-ioka-marquee/6126609002/?fbclid=IwAR2Hoa5mnlLEI-ZVnpwXh6sQ6XK0tWlF01Tw9xYHa8UjxamdrN74c6qXpcs

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