N. Washington Avenue,
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Previous Names: Airdome
The Wheaton-Bell-Orendorf Circuit built the new Airdome Theatre on N. Washington Avenue in Iola in time for the warm months of 1907. C.H. Wheaton programmed the venue that seated 1,200 and was originally the summer home of the Grand Theatre. It opened with a live show, “In the Heart of the Hills” on May 25, 1907. The following season it was operated by Bell–Orendorf-Ballard. Its tagline was, “Where everybody goes”.
After ten seasons of live programming, movies were a part of the 1917 Airdome Theatre line-up. In the 1918 season, motion pictures were a regular feature that included live vaudeville. For 1919-1921, The Airdome returned to is traveling show roots under the tagline, “The People’s Theatre”.
But the Airdome circuit days were passing along with small-town opera houses. After 15 consecutive summer seasons, the theatre did not reopen for the 1922 season. With its lease expiring, no extension was sought and it was demolished in May and June of 1922 with the limber used to create a farm house and barn near Iola. The former Airdome lot was used for a new Memorial Hall.
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