Colonial Theatre

21 1st Street SE,
Oelwein, IA 50662

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Colonial Theatre

This theatre appears on the 1914 Sanborn, in a post-1906 conversion of a wooden Methodist Episcopalian church, which was constructed before 1894. The conversion to a theatre involved the addition of a large stage house at the rear.

No later maps are available online, but this is long demolished. The current newspaper building is an unattractive prefab concrete building which may be from the 1970’s.

Contributed by Seth Gaines

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 20, 2023 at 6:43 am

The October 16, 1915 Moving Picture World mentions a house in Oelwein called the Colonial, recently purchased by a Paul R. Whitney, formerly of Albert Lea, Minnesota. It might be that the purchase didn’t go through at that time, as the June 10, 1916 issue of Motography also said that the Colonial had recently been purchased by Mr. Whitney, who planned extensive improvements.

A church of that era would be fairly likely to have been designed in a Colonial Revival style, which I think increases the chances that it would have been named the Colonial when it was converted into a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 20, 2023 at 9:48 am

A notice that one George Philips had bought the old Methodist Church at Oelwein and would remodel it for use as a hall appeared in the April 6, 1907 issue of The Improvement Bulletin.

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