Malek Theater

116 2nd Avenue NE,
Independence, IA 50644

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DavidZornig on May 20, 2020 at 7:12 pm

September 2019 article with photos.

DavidZornig on July 23, 2019 at 3:46 pm

Facebook page for the Malek Theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 8, 2010 at 5:09 am

The National Register of Historic Places confirms that the Malek Theatre was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm of Wetherell & Harrison.

tonyfitz on July 7, 2009 at 8:41 am

The Malek is finally listed in the Historical Society of Iowa, and the National Register of Historic places. I worked hard in getting this done, and have been serious through this whole trying to get the Malek back to life! The city of Independence has not been supportive at all in this, I believe they thought I was just playing down there, but I was trying to keep it maintained with what little funds I had, while trying to work and support my family. Since I started, another movie cinema has been built and it really was a devastating blow to our hopes and dreams of bringing life back into our beautiful historic downtown, I thought having a brilliant display of neon on the marquee would have been a great attraction! We wanted our place to entertain Independence and help with community events and house shows that would enlighten the crowds! Now, the time for everyone to be serious and get involved instead of getting inquisitive has come. there is no doubt this theater is a huge part of Independence’s heritage, and people need to be helpful so there can be something other than a big piece of crap sitting and rotting away as they drive/walk past it wondering what is going to happen with the theater. Indee knows how to contact me, let’s get real and make something happen!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 18, 2009 at 11:45 pm

The October 26, 1946, issue of Boxoffice Magazine said that the opening of the Malek Theatre had been set for Tuesday evening, October 29. The article reported the seating capacity of the new house as 825.

The destruction of the Grand Theatre and Gedney Hotel by fire was reported in the March 10, 1945, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The Grand, formerly the Gedney Opera House, had approximately 580 seats, according to the Boxoffice article.

The July 31, 1978, issue of Boxoffice said that the Malek Theatre had been bought by Dennis Voy and Gerald Peterson, who intended to convert it to a twin.

LonPeterson on February 3, 2009 at 1:30 pm

The address would be in the 100 block of 2nd Ave NE on the east side of the street

kencmcintyre on January 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

Google does not recognize Chatham Street in Independence. Can anyone confirm the address of this theater?

tonyfitz on February 13, 2007 at 4:11 pm

contact info:

tonyfitz on February 13, 2007 at 4:05 pm

The only thing that I can say about this theater is that it’s a damn shame! Any inquiries, please feel free to contact me.

JohnMessick on January 16, 2007 at 6:11 am

So is there anything new happening with the Malek? The taxes on this place must be eating someone alive, or there is unpaid back taxes?

kencmcintyre on January 8, 2007 at 2:44 pm

After some improvements, the Malek re-opened on 1/11/66 with a showing of “Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion”, which incidentally was my favorite movie as a child:

Grand opening of the Malek Theater in Independence will be held Tuesday afternoon and evening, Jan. 11 with the showing of a free movie, “Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion.” This was the
announcement made this week by Jerry Reiter, manager, and Don Yoerger and Charles Houston, new owners. Three movies are planned for families in the area on Tuesday: 5:15, 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. Adults and youngsters will be guests of the new management which took over operation of the Malek on Sept. 1, 1965 from the former owners, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Malek. During the past several months the theater has had a number of improvements made. A new concession stand and cold drink dispenser have been added. This week a colorful mural was installed. Also last year the Maleks put in new carpeting. The theater today is the largest new theater built in Iowa since World War II.

Yoerger and Houston and their wives and families are both residents of LeMars and own the Palace Theater at Alton, Iowa. Reiter was named manager of the Malek last September and he and his wife
and two children moved here from LeMars. The three men and their wives will be hosts and hostesses at the grand opening event on Tuesday afternoon and evening. The local theater was sold to Yoerger and Houston by Mr. and Mrs. Malek who last year ended 25 years in the motion picture business. They formerly owned and operated the Grand and Iowa theaters and built the Malek Theater in 1946. The theater can accommodate 820 persons.

JohnMessick on October 2, 2006 at 6:39 am

Lost..Thanks for that picture of the Malek…What ashame for the exterior…but what a beautiful exterior.

evansh01 on June 2, 2006 at 5:36 pm

I heard there is a theater opening in Indee, is this it or are they building a new one? i think these old theaters are so very neat and the history is incredable!

evansh01 on June 2, 2006 at 5:36 pm

I heard there is a theater opening in Indee, is this it or are they building a new one? i think these old theaters are so very neat and the history is incredable!

JohnMessick on April 10, 2006 at 5:18 pm

So what is happening with this theater?

CMBartosh on June 16, 2005 at 4:47 pm

I have done some research on this theater and saw some pictures of what the theater looked like when it opened in 1946. It was beautiful. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity to see what it looked like before it closed back in 1993, but I have heard some stories. I also heard that you were going to reopen the theater a couple of years ago and didn’t. Curious what your plans are and if you are still renovating it.

Danael_A_Zilk on March 17, 2003 at 7:58 am

I have to say that Mister Anthony Fitz has been doing a fantastic job restoring this old show place. Anthony is a coworker of mine at IBP in Waterloo, IA. I am having a hard enough time getting by on my own let alone him getting by and restoring this theater mostly single-handedly. Anthony turely does need more support if this project is going to become a reality anytime within the near future. Help is needed both financialy as well as with labor resources. The last i knew the theater had a couple of mechanical problems. The blower motor driving the cooling system has been frozen up. There are other mechanical malities but the repairs to the swamp cooler will probably be the most costly single expense. Any help that is given to Mister Fitz will be truly appreciated.

AngieFlaucher on September 15, 2002 at 12:25 pm

I am the new president of Independence Ladies Musical Society. We have been discussing the need for an auditorium in our fair city and wondered what the status of the Malek Theatre was as such. I didn’t realize it had a capacity of 1200 seats (if the wall were to come down, of course). I have made it known to our LMS membership that if such a project were to be possible, we would need to be at the forefront of support. Could you please advise me as to the future plans for the Malek and if it is feasible to envision an auditorium for live performances or if it would only be opened for movies. Thank you. My compliments to the person reasonsible for this Website. It is most interesting! Sincerely, Angie Flaucher () P.S. Melody Malek (Bob Malek Jr.’s wife) is a member of Ladies Musical Society!