328 Walnut Street,
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The Yankton Opera House opened in 1902. In 1921, it was remodeled for use as a movie house, complete with a $10,000 pipe organ, chandeliers and new seats. It was named the Hess Theatre after it new owners.
In 1929, the Hess showed its first sound motion picture, the same year the theater received another name change, as the Dakota Theatre. It was also around this time that D. W. Rogers remodeled the theater in spectacular Art Deco style, its facade covered in cream and brown-colored tiles, with chrome highlights. The auditorium received modernistic designs on its side walls and over the proscenium arch.
Later, a new triangular marquee was added, with the theater’s name in large red letters. In the mid-60s, the theater’s new owners again remodeled the Dakota, including a new concession
stand and updated lobby.
The theater closed in 1987, and three years later, was purchased by the Dakota Theatre, Inc., a non-for-profit organization. The Dakota was beautifully restored to its former appearance, a wonderful example of Art Deco architecture, and is today used for live theater and other live performances.
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