Town Theatre

310 First Avenue,
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

Town Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Town Theatre was a one level movies-only theatre opened in 1907 as the Delphi Theatre. It’s stated purpose was to show “educational photoplays”. In the 1910s, the theatre was renamed the Crystal Theatre. By the early 1920s it was known as the Rialto.

While the theatre was known as the Rialto it gained a not-so-flattering nickname, “the Rat-Hole”. The hotels that surrounded the theatre used to empty their trash in the alley, the rats would run through the theatre as they moved between the hotels!

In 1948, the theatre changed hands and became the Town Theatre. While it operated as the Town, it showed primarily adult films (grade Z exploitation films of the 1950s) during the week and kiddy matinees on the weekends.

Nobody mourned the theatre when it was torn down in the late 1950s as part of urban renewal.

More pictures and info can be found at www.jeffkorns.com

Contributed by jeff korns

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Jakorns
Jakorns on February 25, 2009 at 9:48 pm

The lobby for the US Cellular Center arena stands about where the theater stood. It was across the street from the Iowa theater and the Columbia theater and next door to the Grand (Lyric) theater located in the Grand hotel building. Both the Grand and Columbia were short lived converted store front theaters. Interestingly enough, larger entertainment venues replaced all three theaters.

The Town and Grand were replaced by the arena and the Columbia by the Iowa theater building.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater