Parrot Theatre

603 W. Main Street,
Alma, NE 68920

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Related Websites

Parrot Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: New Parrot Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 308.928.2695

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Parrot Theatre

The Parrot Theatre is another small town theatre. It replaced an earlier Perrot Theatre (aka Crescent Theatre/Rialto Theatre) at a different High Street address which has its own page on Cinema Treasures. It is located at W. Main Street and S. Jewell Street, showing first run attractions. The New Parrot Theatre was opened on December 14, 1933 with Jack Oakie in “Sitting Pretty”. It was designed in an Art Deco style by architectural firm Swift & Arrowsmith based in Belleville, KS. It was gutted by fire of December 8, 1968.

A new 300-seat theatre was constructed within the four surviving outer walls. It opened on April 30, 1959 with Elizabeth Taylor in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof”. The Parrot Theatre was owned and operated by Thelma Anna Hacker from 1933 until she retired in 1986 and the theatre was closed. It was sold to the Alma Chamber of Commerce and was refurbished, reopening on April 30, 1988 with Tom Selleck in “Three Men and a Baby”.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Chris1982 on October 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

The Parrot Theatre in downtown Alma has been a landmark in our community for many years. In the early years, it was owned and operated by a local family, Paul and Thelma Haeker. Over the years, the Parrot Theatre has seen many changes. A major change was made in 1988 when the Parrot Theatre closed briefly before being bought by the Alma Chamber of Commerce. In March of 1988, a theatre board was created and met for the first time. This board consisting of several local families that had been selected by the Alma Chamber of Commerce were chosen to continue the running of this local business. These families volunteered to run the theatre on a rotating weekend basis, coming together to make decisions about how to handle the theatre business and what would need to be done to continue hosting a variety of movies for the enjoyment of Alma and the surrounding communities. The goal of this new theatre board and Chamber was to have an affordable source of entertainment and to have an opportunity to give back to the community. With hard work by the new theatre board, various volunteers and the Alma High School government class, the theatre was soon ready to open. On April 30, 1988, a premier party was held at the Alma City Auditorium prior to the showing of the first movie, Three Men and a Baby. The Parrot Theatre has seen some updates inside and out including adding a brick front to the building, new roof resurfacing , installation of a new screen, new seating, aisle lighting installed, new heating and air conditioning system, updated concessions, bathrooms, and hallways with new flooring and wood trim, and new paint throughout the building, Today, the Parrot Theatre Board consists of twelve families who rotate weekends and meet once a month to discuss the Parrot Theatre’s financial business and set policies to guarantee a continued family entertainment venue in the community. website

dallasmovietheaters on November 20, 2021 at 10:39 am

Alma was home to the Crescent turned New Theatre turned Rialto turned talking Parrot Theatre. But by 1933, the owners felt constrained by the cobbled together building which had been used for films for 25 years and was likely reaching the end of a leasing agreement. They decided to move to a brand new theatre designed for sound film. It was the New Parrot Theatre.

The New Parrot was architected by Swift & Arrowsmith of Belleville, Kansas. They were inspired by the World’s Fair of Chicago in creating the Art Deco venue with a new neon sign. Their New Parrot Theatre opened at 603 West Main in downtown Alma. The former Parrot Theatre and former Crescent Theatre was converted to an art supply retail store.

The New Parrot Theatre opened December 14, 1933 retaining its name, two parrot plaques in the lobby, and launching with Ginger Rogers co-starring in “Sitting Pretty". Ten cars drove all over the county to drum up support for the first show and also the free Santa show on the following Saturday.

The original, deco Parrot theatre was gutted by a fire on December 8, 1958 leaving its original walls. The town went without a theatre while the Haekers started over though retaining the four walls.

The newly-rebuilt Parrot Theatre relaunched with a new 300-seat auditorium and the film, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” at its grand reopening on April 30, 1959. The theatre had widescreen projection to present CinemaScope screenings. Owners, the Haekers, celebrated 50 years of operation in 1980.

But during the home video era, the Haekers closed the Parrot Theatre in 1986. In 1988, Paul Haeker sold the venue to the Alma Chamber of Commerce. The Parrot Theatre got a new roof and refresh reducing seat count slightly. A 12-panel group was devised to provide a large cadre of operators without overburdening a single person. The concept worked and volunteers have kept the place running into the 2020s

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