Castle Theatre

112 E. Main Street,
Manchester, IA 52057

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Castle Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fridley Theatres

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

Firms: Wetherell & Harrison

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 563.927.5726

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Castle Theatre

This is a small town theatre I found while on a road trip of other theatres. Built in 1935, this theatre blends in nicely with the other Main Street buildings. It has a castle-like battlement along the roof line. There is a small marquee with the theatre name in neon and there is no vertical sign. The architects were Wetherell & Harrison who, I was told, had an office in Des Moines, Iowa.

Contributed by Thomas Gessner

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

teecee on August 9, 2005 at 5:20 am

This is a Fridley Theatre, not an independent:

rivest266 on December 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Looks like it has closed. It is no longer on the Fridley website.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on December 20, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Reopened under new owners:

Closed temporarily, open once again.

Story Here:

CSWalczak on June 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Recent article about the community support the Castle is currently enjoying: View link

Chris1982 on November 16, 2014 at 4:49 am

Some History on the Castle Theatre: The Castle Theatre opened in 1935, and is the only theater in Delaware County. In 2009 a group of concerned citizens received word that their local movie theater was soon closing. After many meetings, research was done in other community run theaters, a Board was formed, the non-profit status was established, theater assets were purchased, teams of volunteers were organized, movie contracts were signed, operating plans were developed, two part-time managers were hired to run the day-to-day operations, a website was created and the funds were raised to cover the initial start up costs.

The Board consists of nine local citizens and two area high school students. There are a handful of committee members who also have assisted the Board in other projects. Since taking over ownership from Fridley Theatres of Des Moines in early September 2009, Friends of Castle Theatre members and other individuals have spent hundreds of hours working on the Castle Theatre. The project included a much needed and thorough cleaning of the lobby, concession area and auditorium. Necessary repairs and improvements continue to be made throughout the building.
The lobby and concession area received a new facelift featuring new paint and wallpaper. During this time, the theatre’s projection equipment was also refurbished, repaired and upgraded. An ongoing restoration of the familiar downtown Manchester icon – the Castle Theatre’s marquee – included the replacement of the neon sign, a new roof and a fresh paint job. The outdoor poster boxes were also repaired. The theatre reopened October 23, 2009 with a fresh new look and a first-run movie showing every night at 7 p.m. Volunteers continue to staff the theater’s the theater’s ticket booth, concessions and projector. Having a viable movie theater is important to the overall health of Manchester and Delaware County in giving it’s citizens a choice of entertainment for all ages. Grand Re-Opening was held on November 13-15, 2009 website

Trolleyguy on August 8, 2021 at 9:31 pm

The marquee for this theatre shows up in a crime documentary series called “Killer Cases.”

SethG on August 31, 2023 at 12:52 pm

The Pythian Castle this theater is located in seems to be a remodel of an older building. The original structure was built between 1894 and 1899. The 1913 map is the first to show a hall on the 2nd floor, which may have been the K of P. By 1921, it had been extended in the rear to its current footprint.

The facade doesn’t really look like a building from the mid-30s (especially with its original, long gone crenelation), but it likely doesn’t date from the 1890s, either. I’d guess it may have been applied when the K of P moved in (if they weren’t always there, which is a bit unclear), perhaps around 1910.

By chance, I actually photographed this the weekend of the reopening. Was unable to make it, or not interested in the movie. I can’t remember.

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