Princess Theatre

106 E. Water Street,
Decorah, IA 52101

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Additional Info

Architects: J. Jackwitz

Functions: Retail

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Princess Theatre

Built in 1891, the building was used a saloon. The Princess Theatre opened August 26, 1910, by I.H. Conigsty and C.G. Freeberg in the Wm. P. McClasky Building, next to the Winnesheik Hotel. It was listed on Sanborn Maps 1914 at 110 E. Water Street as Picture Theatre.

In January 1913 the Decorah Public Opinion reported Mr. McClasky had purchased the theatre and an advertisement noted Mrs. Laura McClasky was now the manager.

In April 1913 it was reported the Princess Theatre made a hit by getting pictures of President Wilson’s inauguration and the Ohio floods.

In 1922 R.J. Relf of the Princess Theatre and Star Theatre was a regular contributor to ‘Straight From The Shoulder Reports’ in Moving Picture World.

As late as 2004 it was named the Princess Café, and in 2022 the narrow building still existed next to the Winnesheik Hotel, occupied by Ace Kitchen Place.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

SethG on August 4, 2023 at 10:39 am

Building constructed 1891, and had been a saloon before conversion to a theater. The NRHP listing spells the name McClasky. Cafe function is wrong. This is used for retail. The building’s architect was J. Jackwitz, but he likely didn’t have anything to do with the theater conversion. There used to be a nice cornice, and a funny little tower on the left, but those were removed long ago. I’ve added a 2009 picture.

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