Grand Theatre

221 W. Water Street,
Decorah, IA 52101

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Additional Info

Architects: Charles Altfillisch

Previous Names: Grand Opera House, Star Theatre

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Grand Theatre

Built in 1892, it suffered damage from a fire in 1898. Originally opened as the Grand Opera House. It began showing movies from 1913. On February 10, 1914 it became the Star Theatre. On June 22, 1926 it was renamed Grand Theatre. It was remodeled in 1929 to the plans of architect Charles Altfillisch.

On December 15, 1960 and "Murder INC" is playing. They changed movies every three days. Always closed on Christmas Eve, they had a guest register for moviegoers to sign, something I had never heard of. Those signing saw their names in the local paper with the movie advertisements the following week. The Grand Theatre was closed on June 16, 1965 with Don Murray in “One Man’s Way”.

Contributed by MikeRogers

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 18, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Thanks again.For adding the info.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 20, 2010 at 10:17 am

Open ~1930? Can anyone verify the exact date?

Sure could use an address, more info and photos?

cath61 on March 8, 2013 at 8:36 am

The Grand Theatre was designed in 1929 by architect Charles Altfillisch. He’s listed with one theatre the Watts, in Osage. Not sure how to add this one to his list.

dallasmovietheaters on October 3, 2022 at 10:34 pm

The Grand Theatre closed for the season on June 16, 1965 with “One Man Way.” The drive-in carried the summer schedule. However, only the Lyric opened in the Fall. The Grand was next used for an art gallery.

robboehm on November 27, 2022 at 3:04 pm

Uploaded an image of announcement of the opening of the Star Theatre and one of a 1964 theatre card.

robboehm on November 27, 2022 at 8:36 pm

According to the March-April Motion Picture World the seating capacity was 600.

SethG on August 4, 2023 at 12:40 pm

Constructed 1892 and suffered a serious fire in 1898. Began showing movies in 1913. Demolished 1969, and replaced by a cheap and dreary utility office. The original building was very dignified, with a tower in the center of the facade. I’ve added the 1914 Sanborn view to show the general plan before the later remodeling.

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