Iris Theatre

122 W. Greene Street,
Postville, IA 52162

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SethG on August 25, 2023 at 6:52 pm

Building is now a beauty salon. Streetview has very poor coverage, but if you look from Lawler north of the intersection, you can see it fairly well.

robboehm on May 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm

The silent film theatre mentioned above was probably the Postville, the ad for which appears in this photo section featuring a 1929, pre-code silent film, The Voice of the City.

robboehm on May 18, 2023 at 3:20 pm

Uploaded photos from the Postville Herald from May 19, 1932 and January 21, 1957 showing ads for the Iris.

50sSNIPES on May 17, 2023 at 9:45 pm

The Iris opened its doors on December 25, 1930 with Wallace Berry in “Min And Bill” with Western Electric sound installation, unclear if any short subjects were added. It is closed in the middle of 1980.

jkpalmer on February 3, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Additionally, the Iris theater ceased operation sometime in 1979.

jkpalmer on February 3, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I talked with my dad, Lloyd J. Palmer, who is Lloyd E. Palmer’s son.

He recalled that his mother and father ran a silent movie theater on the north side of Green St. Might have been the original Iris.

He also remembered accompanying his dad to Minneapolis to look at theaters on which to base the “new” Iris design. He mentioned North Penn St.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 3, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Well, I guess it’s not a good idea to leave an unposted comment on an open browser tab overnight. The theater across the street must have been the one Lloyd Palmer took over in 1924.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 3, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Unless it was rebuilt or the name was moved at some time (I can’t find any indication that either of these took place) this was a very old theater. Lloyd Palmer took over the Iris in 1924, according to a brief article about him (center column, right page) in Boxoffice, November 5, 1955.

Mr.Palmer was not a big fan of musicals or costume dramas, judging from his letter to the editor (upper left) published in Boxoffice of February 11, 1956.

jkpalmer on February 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

The Projectors we also believed to be Western Electric.

jkpalmer on February 3, 2010 at 1:32 am

More information –

Lloyd E. Palmer operated a silent movie theater across from where the Iris was ultimately built. His wife Bertha Palmer played the piano.

The Iris Theater was built in 1929-30. Grand Opening was held on Christmas Day 1930. First movie shown was Min & Bill.

My grandfather built the theater with financial backing from the Schutte family, and rented the space for $150/month for many years.

The original sound system was a “Wide Range-Western Electric” which was the best that could be purchased at the time. Projectors were also Western Electric.


jkpalmer on February 3, 2010 at 12:11 am

Was once owned by Lloyd E. Palmer. Then sold to Ethel and Steve Folsom. Ethel was the sister-in-law of Lloyd. Ethel ran the business and Steve was the projectionist.

Ethel passed in 1996 and Steve passed in 2010.

Not sure when the theater was closed but the space was later occupied by a drug store operated by Jim and Kathy DeMong. Jim DeMong was also the pharmacist and the Fire Chief of Postville.

Peculiar twist – Jim DeMong and the grandson of Lloyd Palmer, Jim Palmer, were Sigma Chi fraternity brothers at the University of Iowa.