Iola Cinema 1 & 2

202 S. Washington Avenue,
Iola, KS 66749

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: B & B Theatres, Fox Midwest Theatres

Firms: B.F. Churchill & Sons

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Iola Theatre

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Iola Cinema 1 & 2

The Iola Theatre is located in the downtown section of Iola on S. Washington Avenue. It opened as a 888-seat single screen August 17, 1931 with Clark Gable in “Sporting Blood” & Thelma Todd in “Catch as Catch Can”.

It was converted to a twin on January 27, 1977 with a total seating capacity of 530 (320 in the former orchestra and 210 in the former balcony). It was operated by B & B Theatres. It closed when B & B opened their Iola Sterling Six Cinemas on East Street in fall of 2001.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on August 16, 2005 at 3:48 am

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook; 1941 and 1943 editions as having a seating capacity of 625 and operated by Fox Midwest Amusement Corp.

The 1950 edition of F.D.Y. gives a seating capacity of 888.

LouisRugani on March 18, 2011 at 5:03 pm

(August 14, 1931)
BUILDING ONE OF Artistry of Past Combined with Modern Science To Produce the Ultimate in Moving Picture Theatres; Cool, Safe; Show House Rich With Color and Design

The building ot the new Iola Theatre, which opens with its first
show, “Sporting Blood,” next Monday evening, is one in which the
moviegoer may find the glories of artists of the past harmonized with
the practical and comfort-giving marvels of present day scientists.
Ancient Greece and Renaissance Florence have contributed their
share to what could have reached its culmimation only in Twentieth
Century America â€" a temple of beauty and comfort.

The front of the building has been composed from architectural designs of all periods, the result being unification of styles that time and the critical opinion of artists through many ages have stamped as being the best that human genius can produce.

It should be remembered that the building was raised to house a movie theater, and that every detail and all the thought wrought into it was designed to achieve appropriately the end in view.

A theater is a place where the emotions are stimulated, and the setting should be in keeping with that purpose.

Stop inside the foyer. You find yourself upon sound absorbing plush carpets, with doorways screened with heavy, dark-colored drapes. You walk a short dlstance and find yourself in the brilliantly lighted theatre proper, with marvelously fabricated crystal chandeliers bringing to life a riot of colors upon the walls and proscenium calclated to quicken the most jaded senses and rouse to life the most phlegmatic nature.

A Brilliant Interior.

Wall panels upon which gigantic palm trees soar to emerald green.
crests on brilliantly colored pilasters with their intricate and beautiful lamps. Shadow boxes above the stage entrances above which soft but rich and stirring pigments fuse rhythmically, a proscenium staggered blocks, each with its special striking design of geometric figures – all these details and many more stand out after a moment’s contemplation.
Before the great curtain rises, step up to the smoking lounge under the balcony and recline upon the luxurious chairs and divans which await you. Listen to yourself think as the rich and deep carpets make all noise and impact upon them imperceptible. You can wish for no comfort that is not at hand.

A Mechanical Marvel.

If you are something of a mechanical genius stroll up to the projection room and see to what great lengths the builders have gone to pack every scientific aid to picture exhibition in the relatively small but more than adequately large room. Here is the balcony, with its comfortable, “air-cushioned” seats, practically as pleasant a place to sit as downstairs. Take your seat either upstairs or down, but before the show; begin a glance at the ceiling, with its ornamental beams and striking colors.

New Show House Provided With Latest Work by Western Electric

Nine-Hundred-Seat Structure is Complete Except for the “Finishing” Touches â€" Equipment Finest That Money and Brains Can Provide; Marvels of Modern Science.

The new lola Theatre, one of the finest show houses in the entire state of Kansas, will open its doors to the public Monday night of next week, showing as its first attraction the brand new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature, “Sporting Blood."
The theatre building is complete with the exception of a few finishing touches which will be taken care of before the opening Monday. The more than 900 seats are installed, all leather upholstered and "aircushloned,” the most comfortable and modern seats that are available in the present market.
The seats in the last row in the balcony are just the same as those on the front row downstairs. The lighting fixtures are in place, the colored light variations having been tested and found to produce the most beautiful effects.
Thousands of dollars worth of rich, heavy drapes have been hung to provide that atmosphere of luxury and beauty which is so essential in the modern theatre. Heavy, thick carpets and rugs are being laid in all the aisles and on the mezzanine lounge â€" everywhere that feet will touch the floor.
The sound equipment and projection machines have already been tested and found to be in perfect synchronization. In fact, everything in what you have observed so far has been largely the external, obvious features. Consider now that the building is one of the most sturdily constructed in Kansas, that it is absolutely fireproof, that its walls and panels conceal thousands of feet of wiring and pipes through which flow the forces of nature for your convenience and comfort, that safety has been assured by thorough tests of materials and completed structure details, that everything possible has been done to assure pleasant entertainment under pleasant conditions for you and the other 949 persons for whom the theater has seating space.
Your mind at ease and receptive to subtler details, consider the temperature. Next winter, the ventilation system will produce exactly the opposite result; stepping up the temperatures of winter to just the right degree, for comfort.

Entertainment The Aim.

The settihg, you will have to agree, is perfect â€" what about the entertainment? Entertainment is, after all, the chief function of the new theater, and the projection and sound reproducing equipment is the best and most advanced available.
But that’s something you will want to find out for yourself. Monday night, then, “Sporting Blood,” a brand new release declared by many critics to be the best story of the year. Constitute yourself the judge and be on hand for the opening, Monday night.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Thanks Louis good story.

dallasmovietheaters on January 11, 2017 at 5:32 am

August 17, 1931 Iola Theatre grand opening ad in photos.

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