Northwood Theatre

827 Central Avenue,
Northwood, IA 50459

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50sSNIPES on January 7, 2024 at 1:40 pm

The earliest mention I can find featuring the Northwood Theatre name dates back as early as Spring 1923.

The Northwood Theatre briefly closed on December 5, 1931 because of the lack of patronage according to then-manager George W. Haight, but reopened its doors the following month on January 7, 1932. Haight decided to reopen it by changing a schedule a little and updating its seats and extending the contract for Western Electric (the sound system that was installed inside the theater).

On September 23, 1949, the Northwood Theatre was remodeled featuring an updated 100-seat balcony, and the seats of the main auditorium were relocated closer to the screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 4, 2023 at 4:34 pm

The earliest mention of a movie theater in Northwood that I’ve found is in the October 7, 1916 Moving Picture World which has an item datelined Northwood and reading “[t]he Slosson theater is now owned and controlled by George Haight.” I’ve found no other mentions of a Slosson Theater at Northwood, but a G. L. Haight, probably George, appears as the owner of the Northwood Theatre in the January 2, 1932 Motion Picture Herald, which says he had closed the house due to “…poor returns at the box office over an extended period.” It must have reopened before the end of the year, though, as it is listed without any notations in the 1933 FDY. I’ve found no further mentions of Mr. Haight though.

The earliest mention of the name Northwood Theatre I’ve found is its listing in the 1926 FDY, which gives it a seating capacity of 300. After that it is mentioned a few times in trade journals, usually when it changes hand or a new manager is appointed. The most significant of these items is in the May 15, 1949 Boxoffice, which tells of a major remodeling and expansion planned for the house which will add 200 seats. The 1950 FDY lists the house with only 400 seats though, an increase of 100.

The Northwood is mentioned a few times in the 1950s, including a 1955 item about the installation of wide screen equipment. The last mention I’ve found is in the May 27, 1959 issue of Motion Picture Exhibitor, which published a short letter from then-owner Charlie Jones, responding favorably to an editorial the journal had published.