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Street is Main Ave. This has been demolished. Downtown is incredibly unattractive, and I’m having trouble placing this, but it must have been on the north side of the street.
Definitely not open in 1922. There are 1930 and 1948 maps, but neither are available online. If the address is right, this was not on a corner, but in the middle of the block north of the funeral home. This was gone by 1993, since it’s not in the NRHP listing.
Address must have been something like 122. The dealership to the south, which is also gone now, was 120. The 1922 map shows the original structure to have been slightly shorter with a tall stage tower at the rear.
The historical address seems to have been on 7th or Dickey, which were previous names for this street.
The Hippodrome, or at least the 1913 iteration, was a different building on this same site.
Appears on the July 1907 map, but not on the 1902 map. ‘Moving Pictures’ note appears on the 1913 map, but of course that doesn’t mean they weren’t shown earlier.
Joe’s last photo must be from the at least the mid ‘70s, judging by the cars.
The 1920 Sanborn shows the capacity as 610, and the address as 212-214. The bank then was 218. 240 is probably the best current address.
I’m sure you’re right. I don’t know how this ended up with the wrong name, since the Princess is a completely different building.
Glad to see they plan to take the ugly beige paint off the front. Don’t know what would make anyone think that looked good. That green glazed brick is trying to come through.
Website is gambling spam. This place is closed, and we should probably revert the name to the last movie use.
There was a fairly serious fire in the vacant building on Nov. 29, 2023. Structure looks okay-ish, but it’s unclear what will happen to it.
To be clear, the fire was next door. The original Orpheum was the building that burned. Lots of water and smoke damage to the theater.
According to some history on the Webster’s site, this opened June 10, 1907. It was not a nickelodeon. Shows were 10 cents, and included some live acts. During January of 1909, there was an experiment where three days of the week were movies only, known as the Nickel Theatre. This was abandoned by the end of the month, as audiences preferred the 10 cent shows on the other four days of the week.
Overcorrection on this entry. The opening date in 1911 for the Isis was correct. There were two separate operations. Right now this incorrectly indicates that it was the Family up until 1927.
Much of the information here comes from the Webster’s website.
According to the Webster’s site, which has excellent capsule histories of all live and movie theaters which operated in Webster City, this was originally the Family Theatre. It seems to have operated from about 1907 until 1910. It may originally have been vaudeville only, but by 1909, they were showing movies.
The building was constructed between 1900 and 1907, and is a bakery on the 1907 map. I’m not sure how serious the fire was. The building is the same height on all the maps, but the facade does look like it might be later.
Link is dead, so it’s hard to say, but there’s no theater shown here on the 1923 map. The location does match some history on the Webster’s site. 504 and 506 were the original structure of the three story Grand Central Hotel, later the St. James, which was built sometime before 1885. Between 1907 and 1915, a two story building was constructed at 508. This seems to have been an annex to the hotel, and they used the second floor. The 1915 map shows it vacant, and the 1923 map shows a drugstore here. It was quite a bit deeper, and would have made a decent theater, but the timeline is not working.
The building was constructed sometime between 1892 and 1896, and was originally a furniture store. The 1915 map shows it as a harness shop. Now an antique store
Added the ghost. Can’t read all of it, and there was something else to the right that had been painted over.
Turns out I do have a picture of a ghost ad for the theater.
Does 500 seem overlarge for a nickelodeon? Anyhow, the 1907 map has nothing on any corner of 10th & Central except a large old home on the SE corner, which had become an Ear & Eye Hospital. 1912 has the hospital SE, the Wahkonsa Hotel (1910 - still there) SW, a small one story commercial building with three storefronts NW (still there, heavily remodeled and extended in the rear), and an Airdome on the NE corner. I had listed that one separately. Do you suppose it might have been the same thing?
The 1912 map is from December, so it may well have been open earlier that year. I was in Ft. Dodge in December, and I pity the surveyor who had to spend so long outside.
So looks like a 1908 opening? Thanks for that.
Theater was on the right.