Iowa Theatre

308 N. Main Street,
Burlington, IA 52601

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The Jewel Theatre opened August 20, 1914, with Francis X Bushman in “One Wonderful Night".

On May 17, 1930 it became the Iowa Theatre with 457 new seats, carpeting, ventilating system, and an all-talking picture, “Clancy in Wall Street". A large electric sign was also placed on the front of the building.

The Burlington Hawk Eye noted owner Jake Cohen also operated the Standard Theatre and Capitol Theatre in Ottumwa and in 1931 was president of the Allied Theater owners of Iowa. In August 1931 the theatre was taken over by A.H. Blank’s Central States Theatres.

In March 1936 an advertisement in the Hawk Eye proclaimed it was the first theater in Iowa to play Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times".

After being dark since the Zephyr Theatre opened in December 1939 it reopened again March 9, 1941. When it closed August 15, 1943, it was playing B movies, mostly westerns, leaving the first runs to the Palace Theatre, Zephyr Theatre, and Capitol Theatre. Film Daily Year Book 1943 lists it with 493 seats.

On January 24, 1958, the Hawk-Eye Gazette published a 1939 photograph of the theatre and surrounding buildings noting the site was now cleared for the construction of the new post office.

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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