King Theatre

413 2nd Street,
Ida Grove, IA 51445

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Dougger58
Dougger58 on January 1, 2023 at 4:47 pm

We began our renovation story in December of 2015 when we acquired the theater from Fred Saunders who purchased it from theater magnate Bob Fridley. Saunders was an awesome owner who loved the communities where he had his theaters and always offered to help build a community through education and entertainment. When the building fell to disrepair and film turned to digital, he gifted the theater to the city which turned it over to the Ida Grove Community Foundation, a non profit which had the purpose of encouraging the arts in Ida Grove and surrounding areas. With a six-month reprieve for a fallen back wall, the renovation took three years and three months to complete, opening in October of 2019, aptly with the live version of ‘The Lion King’. We seat 125 people and are handicap accessible with bathrooms on the main floor and four spots for wheelchair access. We have a balcony where 37 of our seats reside. Of course, the pandemic set growth back for three months late March to early June 2020, but we’ve been back at it hard ever since. We show current movies, have free classic movie Mondays, and produce live events in the fall and winter. We’ve become a hub of downtown Ida Grove which has produced a hallmark coffee shop as well as an emerging BBQ joint downtown since its renovation. Doug Clough, president- Ida Grove Community Foundation/manager - King Theatre. 712-371-9368. .

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 11, 2019 at 9:50 pm

Forgot to add this: Here is the web site for the King Theatre.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 11, 2019 at 9:46 pm

This article posted to the online edition of The Municipal magazine on January 17, 2019, has a brief history of the King Theatre, as well as photos of the recent restoration while it was underway. The house opened in 1914 as the Princess Theatre, and was renamed the King Theatre by new owner Frank King in 1917.

Bob Fridley took over the King in 1940 and remodeled extensively, adding a 100-seat balcony. Fridley Theatres operated the house until 1982. An independent operator, Fred Saunders, then took over, adding video rentals in the lobby but continuing to show movies, though less frequently as time passed. The King went dark in 2010, partly due to the prohibitive cost of installing the digital equipment that was by then becoming a necessity for theaters.

In 2015, a community organization was set up with the goal of restoring and reopening the theater. The deteriorating building was gutted and rebuilt inside, designed to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The project was nearly derailed when the back wall of the building collapsed after a major storm in June, 2017, but the community group persisted and the rebuilt house was reopened in October, 2019.

rayman29
rayman29 on October 18, 2019 at 12:33 pm

Reopened last night with the showing of The Lion KING(2019). It has been completely renovated and has the same manager as the State in Holstein. The rest of the staff is volunteers, much like the State. The State’s success partially influenced Ida Grove to reopen their theatre as well.

rivest266
rivest266 on December 13, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Seats installed in November 2018 per the Facebook page for this theatre. Maybe reopened by the end of the year.

rayman29
rayman29 on February 7, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Work is now under way to reopen the theatre as a non-profit.

https://www.facebook.com/events/647381422107976/

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 9, 2009 at 9:22 pm

This is an item in Boxoffice magazine, January 1946:

IDA GROVE, IA.-A cigaret started a film fire here at the King Theater. As one operator took the last reel off for the night, it was brushed against a cigaret his assistant was holding. A burst of flame was the result.

No one was injured and the damage wasn’t serious, but the theater, owned by Carl Mansfield, had to be closed for two days.