Grand Theater

Chatham Street,
Independence, IA 50644

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 2, 2011 at 12:47 pm

The theater in this Romanesque Revival building was originally called the Gedney Opera House, according to this web page form the Buchanan County Historical Society. The Gedney Opera House was listed in various editions of Julius Cahn’s Theatrical Guide. The Guide gave the seating capacity of this ground floor house as 850.

A History of Buchanan County published in 1914 says that the Gedney Hotel and Opera House were built in 1892, and that the project was designed by Chicago architect G.W. Sunderland. The Opera House opened on August 23, 1892, with a performance of Auber’s opera “Fra Diavolo,” presented by the Andrews Opera Company.

The historical society web site says that the Grand Theatre and Gedney Hotel block burned to the ground on March 3, 1945. The Malek Theatre was subsequently built on the site.