Dodge Theatre

401 Main Street,
Keokuk, IA 52632

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2013 at 2:35 am

An early ad for this house styled it Dodge’s Theatre. As near as I’ve been able to puzzle out from fragments on the Internet, it opened around 1907 in converted retail space on the ground floor of a Masonic temple built in the 1850s, and was destroyed by a fire on January 12, 1912. The following year the Iowa Hotel was built on its site and some adjacent lots. After the Dodge Theatre was destroyed, the Orpheum Theatre was opened in another converted building down the block, probably by Mr. Dodge.

I’ve been unable to discover Mr. Dodge’s first name or initials, or exactly when he teamed up with Merle Baker to form the Baker-Dodge Theatre Company, but the company is mentioned in the July 29, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World, which noted plans to build a movie theater at 505-507 Main Street. I’ve been unable to discover if this project was completed, but if it was then it is not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.

vinray89
vinray89 on December 23, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The photo that was shown before I posted the current one, was of the Hotel Iowa and the Dodge Theater was never located in that building. The Hotel Iowa is now an apartment building but has been restored to near original condition otherwise. I have never heard of a Dodge Hotel in Keokuk.