Orpheum Theater Center
220 East Main Street,
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Orpheum Theater Center (Official)
Previously operated by: Fridley Theatres, RKO
Architects: Al Svensson
Firms: Svensson & Edstrom
Previous Names: RKO Orpheum Theatre, Orpheum Theatre
News About This Theater
- May 24, 2011 — Comments Back Online
- Jul 8, 2010 — Orpheum Theatre reopens on its 61st Anniversary
- Aug 16, 2006 — Downtown Marshalltown built around Orpheum
The Orpheum Theatre was the first theatre built by RKO following World War II. It opened June 22, 1949 with Ruth Warrick and Gabby Hayes as featured guests and with 915 original seats. The theatre was constructed to replace the Capitol Theatre which was destroyed by fire in 1946.
Marshalltown is the birthplace of film stars Jean Seberg and Mary Beth Hurt. And because of this connection, in 1957, the theatre was host to the US premiere of Jean Seberg’s “Saint Joan”.
The theatre was closed by its previous operator, Fridley’s, in favor of their nearby multiplex. Concerned local residents have formed a non-profit to save the Orpheum Theatre.
The group purchased the theatre and transformed it into a multi-purpose community facility. It shows films, has lecture and symposium spaces, and features a stage & screen museum (which is located in the vacated rear area created during the theatre’s late-1970’s twin conversion). Renovation began in 2008 with completion in the summer of 2010. It was closed by 2021.
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Recent comments (view all 12 comments)
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The Marshalltown Capitol Theatre (paragraph 1 above) once contained a Robert Morton pipe organ that went to a radio station. Eventually, the organ was purchased by the late Hollywood musican Edwin Lemar “Buddy” Cole as his first residence/studio recording organ. Years later this organ was added to the Wurlitzer from the Los Angeles United Artists Theatre as an even large recording studio instrument.
The Marshalltown RKO Orpheum Theatre has been deeded to Iowa Valley Community College District for their downtown center for education of performing arts, radio & tv broadcasting and will still feature a movie theatre in at least part of the theatre building. The Orpheum Centre Board is working in conjunction with IVCCD.
This was an atmospheric?
Here is article posted today about renovation efforts:
This is great. looks like another one not getting the wrecking ball.
This article mentions the renovations that have been made to the Orpheum: View link
The theater is now known as the Orpheum Theater Center and is administered by the Iowa Valley Community College District; the official webpage is here: http://www.iavalley.edu/orpheum/index.html Movies are occasionally shown. There is a picture of the theater on the page above and another on the site’s history page.
This page from Showmen’s Trade Review of August 20, 1949, features five photos of the RKO Orpheum Theatre in Marshalltown.
Updated website link: https://mcc.iavalley.edu/about-mcc/campusfacilities/orpheum-theater/
This has closed or stopped showing movies as no showtimes can be found for this cinema.