Arlee Theater

139 S. Main Street,
Mason City, IL 62264

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Related Websites

Arlee Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Functions: Live Performances, Movies (Family)

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Nashville Sound Opry

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News About This Theater

Arlee Theater

The Arlee Theater opened on November 19, 1936 with Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers in “Swing Time”. It initially had 450 seats. It operated as a movie theater until 1984. It was later reopened as a country music venue called the Nashville Sound Opry, but this closed in 2001.

In 2003, the Arlee Theater was acquired by John and Gaye Maxson who reopened the theater at the end of March 2004 with a mix of live performances and family-friendly movies. Following re-seating in 2015, the seating capacity has been reduced to 350.

Thanks to John and Gaye Maxson and Charles Van Bibber for the information on this theater.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

dpaap on November 12, 2004 at 6:13 am

The theater is now open and is showing “family friendly” movies. Come and experience what a real big screen movie event is all about.

Patsy on April 10, 2005 at 6:36 pm

I just met a gal who grew up in Mason City. She told me about this theatre and was so pleased to learn of it’s restoration and grand reopening!

CRG on March 9, 2007 at 7:59 pm

I absolutely love this theater. I am particularly pleased that every movie shown is family friendly, unlike my local theater. Makes a perfect date night, even spur of the moment!

Trolleyguy on November 24, 2013 at 3:24 pm

According to the website, the theater will close down in December 2013 in order to install digital projection equipment.

tntim on April 24, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Update with pictures on the Arlee Theater can be seen here: Link

SethG on January 20, 2019 at 9:47 am

I must have met Gaye when I passed through. I helped her carry some sodas from her car, and she showed me around. Sadly my picture toward the screen didn’t really come out, but the interior is very well preserved.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 30, 2020 at 7:02 pm

The official web site says that the Arlee Theatre opened on November 19, 1936 with the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musical “Swing Time.”

MichaelKilgore on April 24, 2022 at 8:38 pm

Boxoffice, Feb. 19, 1955: “MOUND (sic) CITY, ILL. - The Arlee, 400-seater, owned by Arthur G. Struck, was reopened February 4 after being closed for three days for installation of a wide panoramic screen by Arnold & Cufaude.”

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