Sierra Community Theatre

210 E. State Street,
Jefferson, IA 50129

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Related Websites

Sierra Commumity Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fridley Theatres, Pioneer Theater Corp.

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Functions: Movies (First Run)

Previous Names: Head's Opera House, Iowa Theatre, Sierra Theatre

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 515.386.3176

Nearby Theaters

Sierra Theater, Jefferson, Iowa

Opened on December 17, 1884 as Head’s Opera House. In March 1931 it was remodeled to the plans of architectural firm Liebenberg & Kaplan. It became the Iowa Theatre in 1935, operated by Finkelstein Theatres with seating listed at the time of 300. In the early-1940’s it fell under the Pioneer Theatres banner and then in 1975 Fridley Theatres took over with a complete remodel. It was operated by Fridley Theatres, single screen with first run attractions until around 2013. It is now run by volunteers as the Sierra Community Theatre.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre on June 30, 2009 at 8:47 pm

Here is part of a January 1958 article in the Jefferson Bee:

Cecil B DeMille’s production ‘The Ten Commandments’ will come to the Iowa Theater in Jefferson on Wednesday Feb 5 and will run through Saturday, Feb 15. The motion picture has received world-wide acclaim from the press, advance audiences and ministers of all faiths as an overwhelming motion picture experience.

Ten years in the planning, three years in research, three years in the writing and more than a year in the actual shooting, the picture is by far the biggest production in film history. A dramatization of the Book of Exodus, it stars Charlton Heston as Moses, Yul Brynner as his enemy, Pharaoh Rameses II, Anne Baxter, Edward G Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget and John Derek.

Starring also are Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Nina Foch, Martha Scott, Judith Anderson and Vincent Price. Extras number upwards of 25,000.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Don’t like the placement of the Marquee. It was called also in the seventies a Fridley-Luxury Theatre.Must have dropped the “Luxury”.

rivest266 on December 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Fridley dropped it in 2012. Facebook:

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 16, 2013 at 3:13 pm

The NRHP registration form for the Jefferson Square Historic District reveals that the Sierra Theatre was built in 1884 as Head’s Opera House, and was dedicated on December 17 that year. The theater was on the ground floor and a Masonic hall was upstairs. In 1914, the Masons bought the entire building.

The theater was extensively remodeled in 1916, as noted in the December 23 issue of The Moving Picture World, which said that iron columns had been removed and replaced by girders, and heating upgraded from wood stoves to a steam plant. Four boxes had been added, the stage had been remodeled, and new opera chairs installed. The opening program at the renovated house was Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation.

Chris1982 on November 16, 2014 at 3:01 am

This is no longer operated by Fridley Theatres. It is called the Sierra Community Theatre and is operated on a volunteer basis by the Community. They don’t have a website they use facebook.

Trolleyguy on April 14, 2016 at 9:42 am


ManagerSierraCommunity on June 11, 2017 at 3:20 pm

The Facts: The 251 seat Sierra Community Theatre is headed by a board of directors who are volunteers from the community. This board created the non-profit 501c3, “Sierra Community Theatre”.

The day to day is currently ran by the manager who stayed after the switch from Fridley Theatres on November 2nd, 2012. There have been at least two paid staff ever since.

After the switch we showed a film for the weekend in 35mm. We upgraded to digital projection during the week of November 5th, 2012. This conversion was thanks to the many wonderful sponsors from our community who contributed to our “See You at the Movies” capital campaign.

We currently have 7.1 surround sound, RealD 3D, and USL Assisted Listening and Closed Captioning. We continue to play first run films.

If you have any other questions about us please contact us via our website at

DavidZornig on August 25, 2019 at 6:23 pm

Link about Jefferson theatres.

sevengirlsfilms on July 1, 2021 at 2:12 pm

In the early 90’s when I lived in Jefferson and was building the Niichi plant I remember this being a family owned theater by a local family. They ran movies Fri, Sat, Sun. and had a video rental place downstairs and the son ran a youth dance club upstairs while he was in college.

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