Star Theatre

Main Street and Crawford Street,
Mason City, NE 68814

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Additional Info

Functions: Opera House

Previous Names: Mason Opera House, Mason Theatre, Isis Theatre, Rex Theatre, Rialto Theatre

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Mason City was serviced by two venues for motion pictures. The first was the Mason City Opera House and the second was the Star Theatre. The roots of the Mason City Opera House date back to its November 2, 1871 grand opening. The Opera House was where many local residents saw their first moving pictures.

Frank C. Miller launched the Star Theatre on October 15, 1912. Just after the sixth anniversary of the Star Theatre, its motion picture bookings moved to the Mason City Opera House following the film, “Taking It Easy” on October 18, 1919.

From October 1919 to 1931, F.S. Mooney ran the town’s motion pictures at the Opera House. In 1931, the Opera House installed sound becoming the Mason City Theatre in November of 1931. Marion H. Bray took on the location renaming it as the Isis Theatre in September of 1935.

On May 14, 1937, the Isis Theatre was under Fred Rosborg who changed its name to the Rex Theatre. On September 17, 1937, the venue got its third name of the year becoming the Mason Theatre with Charles Ruggles in “Turn Off the Moon” supported by a Popeye cartoon, “Spinach Roadster”. Leo Farrell took on the movie house and changed its name to the Rialto Theatre on January 27, 1939 with “Valley of the Giants”. The theatre closed on May 26, 1939.

The theatre then was reopened on May 17, 1940 with “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” The theatre had two other operators before year’s end closing permanently in 1940.

The New Star Theatre was opened January 27, 1945, and was designed and equipped by Western Theatre Supply Company. It was demolished in the 1970’s.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 31, 2021 at 2:39 am

The old Mason City Opera House, long vacant, was demolished in the 1970s. It’s site is now part of a small public park and playground at the southeast corner of Main Street and Crawford Street.

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