Cote Theatre

17 Allamakee Street,
Waukon, IA 52172

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Additional Info

Functions: Beauty Salon

Previous Names: Cota Theatre

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Cote Theatre

The Cote Theatre was opened on November 21, 1913. It is located in the main business district on Allamakee Street, where East Main Street and West Main start. The building is now the home of Kristi’s Stylesetter Salon.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2016 at 1:45 am

The Cote Theatre was opened in 1913 by Dennis Cote, who had earlier operated a storefront theater,opened in 1910, on East Main Street. The Cote Theatre closed in 1958, according to the article on this web page, which covers the history of all three theaters in Waukon.

The papers of the La Crosse architectural firm Parkinson & Dockendorff include drawings of a theater at Waukon, which though undated are earlier than the drawings of the Bell Theatre in Sparta, Wisconsin, which was designed in 1916 and built in 1919. The client, however, was not named Cote but Bartell (possibly the landlord?) If the Cote Theatre was the project designed by that firm then it was probably a conversion of an existing building, the facade not being characteristic of the firm’s work and, indeed, displaying an architectural style characteristic of small commercial buildings built a decade or two earlier than 1913.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2021 at 10:10 pm

An item about the 35th Anniversary of the Cote Theatre appeared in The Exhibitor of September 29, 1948. It said that the house originally opened on November 21, 1913.

SethG on August 7, 2023 at 5:59 pm

This was a Masonic temple with the theater on the first floor. It does not appear on the January 1913 Sanborn. It must have been built to include the theater from the beginning.

SethG on August 8, 2023 at 4:10 am

Looks like the theater and owner’s name should be Coté, not Cote.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 8, 2023 at 10:18 pm

I’ve found the theater name styled as Coté in a modern source, but early trade journals, the AMPD and the FDY all give the name as Cota, with an “a”. The earliest instance of Cote (with an “e” and unaccented) I’ve seen is in the item from Boxoffice of September 4, 1948, cited earlier. It is always Cote in every Boxoffice mention I’ve seen. The first (and only) instance of Coté I’ve seen is in the article cited in my first comment on this house (click on Bruce Calvert’s name to see his copypasta. The Zwire page he got it from is gone.)

Coté (or perhaps Côte or Côté) is probably correct, but what we use should be based on how the theater’s advertisements styled it, if we can find an ad, or what the signage on the building said, if we can find a photo of it. And given that it was listed as Cota in so many early sources, that spelling should probably at least be listed as an aka.

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