Plaza Theatre

120 N. Franklin Street,
Manchester, IA 52057

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Lyric Theatre

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Plaza Theatre

One of two theatres located in downtown Manchester. The Lyric Theatre opened by February 1913 with seating listed at 289. By 1926 it had been renamed Plaza Theatre. The Plaza Theatre was closed sometime in the mid-1950’s.

The larger theatre in town was the Castle Theatre which opened in 1938 and is still open and operated by Fridley Theatres. (It has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

SethG on August 30, 2023 at 3:05 pm

Dates are wrong. This theater first appears on the Feb. 1913 Sanborn. The building was an old commercial structure from before 1886. The 1905 map shows a clothing store there.

Between 1913 and 1921, it was nearly doubled in depth, and you can see a seam in the brick on the north wall where this was done. The addition included a lot of windows and a doorway, so it’s unlikely the auditorium was enlarged.

SethG on August 30, 2023 at 3:07 pm

Current use is an appliance dealer, and the sentence about the Castle should be removed as irrelevant and outdated. The first sentence is also incorrect, there was at least one other.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 31, 2023 at 2:21 pm

The 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory has four listings for Manchester, but two appear to be duplicates: there is a house called the Idle Theatre and a listing for McCormick & Thorpe Idle Theatre. A third listing is for the Model Theatre, which is accounted for.

The name of the house at the Plaza’s eventual address in 1913 must have been either the Idle, for which no location is given, or the fourth listing in the directory, the Lyric Theatre, which was listed on Franklin Street. Whatever its name was in 1915, it was already being called the Plaza in the 1926 FDY, when it was the only theater listed at Manchester.

robboehm on August 31, 2023 at 9:41 pm

A news bite announcing a forthcoming special program at the Plaza appeared in the September 22, 1915 The Manchester Democrat.

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