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Previous Names: Rex Theatre, Cave Theatre
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The Rex Theatre was opened on June 11, 1915. Under new ownership in 1932 it was renamed Cave Theatre. It was refurbished and as the Roxy Theatre held its Grand Opening on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937, showing Katherine Hepburn in “Stage Door”. The advertisement in The Daily Republic of Mitchell SD noted, “This theatre owned and operated by the Roxy Theatre of Mitchell!”
Forty years later, a remember-when column in The Daily Republic of Mitchell SD added this detail, “Nelson Logan, manager of the Roxy Theatre (in Mitchell), announced the purchase of the Cave Theatre in Menno. The name of the theatre was changed to the Roxy Theatre”
The July 8, 1950 issue of BoxOffice reported, “Lesterville, S. D. - The Lesterville Theatre (portable) has been closed and dismantled. It was owned by Burns and Medeca who have the Roxy Theatre at Mennow (sic), S. D”.
An article in the September 23, 1977 Argus-Leader of Sioux Falls SD mentioned the then-active Roxy Theatre and Merle Burns, “for 40 years the owner”
The Roxy Theatre was closed in 1979.
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The Rex Theatre launched on June 11, 1915 by O.E. Simon. Simon made some news in 1927 by not only converting to sound but by creating his own sound system. In 1932, Simon sold the theatre and it was renamed the Cave Theatre. Simon re-acquired the theatre and, after a major refresh, he renamed it the Roxy Theatre with a grand opening on November 25, 1937.
Rose and Merle Burns ran it from 1952 to 1979. In 1953, Corporal Luverne Luthmiller appeared in a newsreel when, arriving home on a furlough was honored by the Roxy with a showing of the newsreel. He was then given the newsreel. The Burns' Frosty Shop also sold candy and ice cream to patrons.
In 1954, the theatre converted from its 10x12' screen to a widescreen 14.5x41' screen to show CinemaScope films. In 1965, the theatre celebrated its 50th anniversary with throwback 1915 pricing and honoring O.E. Simon. Former Major League Baseball Player Kevin Maas once was a projectionist there for four years. The Roxy ceased operations in 1979.