Fox Theater

831 Avenue G,
Fort Madison, IA 52627

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Eisentraut Theatres (Official)

Additional Info

Operated by: Eisentraut Theatres

Previously operated by: Fox Circuit

Architects: Samuel W. Bihr, Jr.

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Strand Theater

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 319.372.2474

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News About This Theater

New FOX Marquee

The Strand Theater was opened on July 1, 1919. By the early-1930’s it was another Fox owned and operated theater. Seating was listed at 816. It was a bit larger than its sister theater across and down the street (Orpheum Theater). It was remodeled and reopened on April 12, 1951.

Closed in 1955, it was later re-named Fox Theater. It closed in June 2008, but was re-opened in April 2009. It had closed again by May 2010. It was reopened March 3, 2017 by Eisentraut Theatres.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2011 at 5:49 am

The monthly Stone & Webster Journal had the following item in the Fort Madison section of its July, 1919 issue:

“The new moving picture theater called the ‘Strand’ was formally opened on July 1st. This new theater is modern in every respect and is reported to be one of the finest picture houses west of Chicago, having a seating capacity of nearly 1,000.”
The August 11, 1928, issue of Motion Picture Times published remarks from the manager and publicity director of the Strand and Orpheum Theatres in Fort Madison, accompanied by a small photo of the entrance to the Strand looking as though it had been decorated to publicize a particular movie.

photod1 on December 29, 2011 at 10:46 am

Joe, thanks for the information. I will add that to all of the history materials that we have for the Strand/Fox.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 8, 2012 at 1:20 pm

The article Tinseltoes linked to has the name of the architect for the conversion of the Strand into the Fox, but the scan doesn’t show a few letters at the beginning of each line in the left column of the page, so the architect’s surname is missing. He was Samuel W. (something short) Jr..

I’m thinking it must have been Samuel W. Bihr, Jr., who was a contract architect for Fox Midwest in the early 1950s, designing everything from minor remodeling jobs to entirely new theaters. His designs of the period were typically transitional Streamline Modern/Midcentury Modern, which fits the Fort Madison Fox.

Robert Allen
Robert Allen on February 12, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Probably the worst thing they did was twinning the thing. But I believe it could be successful as a twin. It all depends on how it’s booked. I don’t think live performances would work. Thw auditoriums are now too small and it does not appear to have fly screens.

photod1 on December 12, 2013 at 9:32 pm

Currently considering going back to one screen. Still working on keeping the building solid and sound. New roof project completed this summer. For those of you that still show an interest in the Fox, THANKS!

showman1 on March 11, 2017 at 7:47 pm

This theatre re-opened on March 3, 2017. Operated by Eisentraut Theatres of Hillsboro Illinois.

photod1 on March 24, 2017 at 12:03 am

Congratulations to Eisentraut Theaters! Best wishes to you in the future.

DavidZornig on November 28, 2022 at 10:19 pm

Per Andy Andrews on Facebook: “Lot of stories about old Strand/Fox theatre - opened July 1, 1919 as Strand Theatre and in winter 1951 a complete remodeling with grand opening April 12, 1951 - Many of us old timer’s remember H. L. "Chub” Golladay & Daisy that managed the theatre 1940 to 1946 and returned again after the remodel to manage the theatre - in interim Ralph Wallace managed it."

CraftytheRaccoon on July 30, 2023 at 12:54 pm

I wonder when this theater was twinned…

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