Restoring the magic of the Sioux Theatre

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SIOUX RAPIDS, Iowa (KTIV) – The timeless Sioux Theatre has been the place to be for movie-goers.

“It’s just a relaxing time to come in sit let somebody else entertain you for a while. It’s very fun,” says Ginny Smith, President of the Sioux Rapids Area Historical Association.

“There’s nothing like going to the old theatre,” says Rusty Smith, member of the Sioux Rapids Area Historical Association.

Since the 1980s the Sioux Theatre has been a work in progress to bring it back to the luster it had when it first opened its doors in 1946.

After years of restoration, the theatre is inviting the community to grab some popcorn, sit back and relax.

“Its a nostalgic thing for people who come back to town here, and these people are just thrilled to death to come back and look around this theater,” says Rusty Smith.

The beloved theatre is equipped with seating for 335, an old-time smoke room, and hand-painted walls.

“It was a good theatre at the time. It was at the top of the line,” says Ginny Smith.

In 1981, the Sioux Rapids Area Historical Society purchased the building.

But it was a mess.

“We just all have a passion for the theatre and have a passion to do some good things in Sioux Rapids and keep it going,” says Ginny Smith.

After chipping and scratching their way through layers of wall, workers were able to repaint the theatre to its original colors. And with it, bring back its classic look and magic.

“These colors on the walls have always been here. We just brightened them up with the original colors so its a lot of fun,” says Rusty Smith.

“What we are attempting to do now is bring back nostalgia have movies, keep increasing the looks of the building and keeping it up,” says Ginny Smith.

After its repairs and restoration, the theatre opened its doors to the public for the first time in 30 years on December 15. The first film to be played since 1976? “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.

“We had pretty good attendance. We did well at the concession stand and people were excited to be back in here again a lot of them have memories of years ago,” says Ginny Smith.

And according to those in charge, the curtains certainly won’t close any time soon.

“We’re getting grants to do things and we are pretty happy what we are getting for responses,” says Ginny Smith.

“It’s exciting when you find something that you can restore back. It’s a treasure hunt,” says Rusty Smith.

In December, the theatre received $1,900 from the Buena Vista County Community Foundation.

January 27 is the next showing at the theatre.

Tickets are sold as a free will offering.

For more information, visit the Sioux Rapids Historical Society’s Facebook page.

Danielle Saitta

Danielle Saitta

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