Garden Theatre

752 10th Street,
Marion, IA 52302

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Additional Info

Architects: Roland 'Tip' Goucher Harrison, Frank E. Wetherell

Firms: Wetherell & Harrison

Previous Names: New Marion Theater, Marion Theater, Marion Adult Theatre

Nearby Theaters

The Garden Theatre opened December 21, 1914, with the film “The Naked Truth”, also known for the alternate title “Hypocrites”. This film was one of the first films to show nudity, albeit tastefully.

On January 1, 1941, the theater reopened as the New Marion Theater with 600-seats. A large advertisement in the Cedar Rapids Gazette credited the architects, Wetherell & Harrison of Des Moines. It was soon renamed Marion Theater.

On February 9, 1961, after a $50,000 remodeling by Iowa United Theaters it reopened with 479-seats. Film Daily Year Book 1951 lists Iowa United Theaters of Des Moines with 28 locations.

The theatre became an X-rated theatre in 1972, advertised under the name Marion Adult Theatre. It was bought by Wayne Engle in 1979, who paid $120,000 and remodeled it for $100,000. Designed by Jim Novak, it reopened November 16, 1979, as the Garden Theatre with family movies.

The Garden Theatre was destroyed by fire February 18, 1985, and later demolished. The new 245-seat Garden Theatre opened November 12, 1985, by Dan Engle and was covered in the Gazette (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures)

Contributed by Ron Pierce
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