Dundee Theater

4952 Dodge Street,
Omaha, NE 68132

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Dundee Theater

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Once one of the many single-screen theaters in the city of Omaha, the Dundee Theater has out lived them all (not to mention a few multiplexes). Originally opened December 19, 1925, the original stage, dressing rooms, and even the gold curtains can all still be found right behind the Dundee Theater’s huge single-panel screen. Originally, seating was provided for 591.

In 1958, the Dundee Theater was acquired by Cooper Theatres and under their ownership the theater played mostly foreign movies until 1965, when it ran “The Sound of Music” for 118 weeks. After a few more tries at playing long-running musicals, the theater switched back to playing foreign movies, and is often mistaken as being one of the many porno-movie houses in the area at that time. In reality it was actually playing films like Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers” and Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord”.

In 1974, Cooper Theatres ceased their theater operations and sold the Dundee Theater to two Omaha businesssmen, who planned to convert the theater into a family-friendly theater. This failed and the theater closed for a time before being purchased by the current owner, Denny Moran in 1980.

Under Moran’s ownership the Dundee Theater has undergone extensive renovations, including the installation of state-of-art sound system and high quality projection equipement. The Dundee Theater has been operating since 1980 exclusively as an Art and independent theater, running a daily regular engagement and special midnight screenings of classic and cult movies every Friday and Saturday night. In recent times I have seen “North By Northwest”, “Dr. Strangelove”, “Hard Day’s Night”, and many others.

It is a great attraction for the neighborhood and Omaha’s last single-screen theater.

The Dundee Theater was closed in early-April 2013 for renovations to be carried out, and is due to re-open in 2015.

Contributed by Tom Jacobs, Jeremy Kruse

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

cswa913102
cswa913102 on October 24, 2005 at 10:52 pm

Saw “Far From The Madding Crowd” there in 1968 with my senior English class from Fremont High.

Was back in town in 1972 or so and saw “Young Winston” there.

beardbear31
beardbear31 on November 10, 2005 at 6:47 pm

I saw “Casablanca” there in the early 90’s…The film was not in focus, and also was not centered on the screen :–(

beardbear31
beardbear31 on November 3, 2008 at 11:39 pm

I’d say it’s accurate, I didn’t find anything otherwise after reading the listing

drivein2001
drivein2001 on February 15, 2011 at 8:54 pm

A Photo I took in Nov of 2007..
View link
RAC Photography

TorstenAdair
TorstenAdair on January 31, 2012 at 1:21 pm

“Theater Houses ‘Round Town” Omaha World-Herald (NE) – Sunday, June 16, 1985

“Dundee

4952 Dodge St., 551 – 3595. One screen. Tickets are $2 for showings that start before 6 p.m., otherwise $3.75 except $3 for students, $2 for those younger than 13 or older than 61. Matinees on weekends and major holidays, and during summer and winter school vacations."

TorstenAdair
TorstenAdair on April 4, 2013 at 2:15 pm

http://www.omaha.com/article/20130403/GO/130409849/1696#dundee-theatre-to-close-for-renovations

“Dundee Theatre to close for renovations”

“Built in 1925 as a vaudeville house, the Dundee will continue life as a venue for independent arthouse movies when it reopens sometime around the holidays or in early 2014, Moran said Wednesday.”

NamesAsh
NamesAsh on August 27, 2014 at 2:45 pm

http://www.omaha.com/go/dundee-theater-will-open-again-says-owner/article_19c9b656-3072-53d2-acae-c332ef685e87.html

“Moran said he had no firm timeline on when the work would be accomplished, but he now expects the theater’s reopening to be sometime in 2015.”

barb_310
barb_310 on October 27, 2014 at 1:43 am

Back in the 40’s when I was a kid my brother and I took our 12 cents for a ticket and 5 cents for popcorn to the Dundee Theatre and watched Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, or the Lone Ranger every Saturday morning. We couldn’t wait to get there because many of those movies were serials so we had to keep coming back. The place was packed and we had so much fun!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 31, 2014 at 9:55 pm

This item from the May 30, 1925, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review is surely about the Dundee Theatre:

“Archt. — John & Alan McDonald, 2nd flr., Standard Oil Bldg., Omaha, Nebr., drawing plans on Theatre (M.P.), $50,000; 2 sty. & bas., 50 x 128, at 50th & Dodge. Owner— A. R. Hansen, 4901 Dodge, Omaha, Nebr. Drawing plans.”
The Dundee Theatre opened on December 19, 1925. It had a four-manual Hillgreen-Lane organ to accompany the silent movies that were its primary fare. Quite a few Internet sources say that the Dundee opened as a vaudeville theater, but in this suburban neighborhood location this fairly small house would have operated primarily as a movie theater, probably bringing in a few vaudeville acts as an occasional added attraction.

The archives of The Omaha World-Herald have this (partial) ad published the day before the theater opened.

The father and son team of John and Alan McDonald were among Omaha’s leading architects of the period. Hansen’s decision to give them the commission for this theater was an indication that he was well aware of the need to impress his potential patrons, the residents of this well-to-do enclave, with something more than an ordinary neighborhood movie house.

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