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Support the finishing touches on the Iowa Theater's historic 1928 art deco marquee rehabilitation and light up Winterset, IA.
Support the finishing touches on the Iowa Theater's historic 1928 art deco marquee rehabilitation and light up Winterset, IA.
188 backers pledged $11,755 to help bring this project to life.

About

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In 2015, the historic Iowa Theater, in Winterset, Iowa abruptly closed. You might have heard of Winterset - it’s the birthplace of actor John Wayne and the setting and filming location of The Bridges of Madison County. It’s about 35 miles from Des Moines, Iowa’s capital.

The Iowa circa 1950.
The Iowa circa 1950.

Since then, my mother and I, alongside members of the community and historians, have been rehabilitating the space. The Iowa Theater is now a non-profit organization and is on track to reopen May 25th. When the Iowa reopens, it will be a home for film, theatrical performances, education programs and more.

Our 2017 reopening announced!
Our 2017 reopening announced!

I've worked in the film industry - as the Education Director at the Chicago International Film Festival for nearly a decade and as a web content producer for over five years - and I have a deep love and passion for film, which was born out of the nights and weekends I spent at the Iowa, watching films and exploring the world through cinema. I didn't want the Iowa, or a place for the community to come together and be engaged, inspired and entertained by the arts to disappear. 

Me on the job at Chicago International!
Me on the job at Chicago International!

The community of Winterset has rallied around our efforts and supported us through donations, pledges, time and energy. To date, we’ve raised over $500,000!
Now, we ask you to join us. Your support will go towards putting the finishing touches on the Iowa’s historic art deco marquee, which has been lighting up downtown Winterset since 1928.

The marquee, getting some TLC in early 2017.
The marquee, getting some TLC in early 2017.

If you are a film lover or a John Wayne fan, if you love classic movie houses or you’re a history buff, we hope you’ll consider supporting us!

This t-shirt could be yours!
This t-shirt could be yours!

 

Coffee tastes *so* good from this mug!
Coffee tastes *so* good from this mug!

 

Risks and challenges

When we first acquired the Iowa, a few people said to me, "ooo, that is a risk - no one goes to the movies anymore!" But that isn't true! Not only does data show that more and more people are going back to the movies, it also shows that *young* people are rekindling their relationship with cinemas. When we did a focus group in October 2016, an attendee said, "You know, I can watch a movie on the couch at home, but it isn't the same. Going to the movies is an event, a night out, a chance to escape."

We've worked hard to make sure that the Iowa can sustain itself in many ways. As a non-profit, we have applied for (and received) local and state grant and foundation support, we've received donations and will continue to solicit support from our patrons, and we've made the space multi-purpose, allowing for rentals and special events.

The marquee is strong - it has withstood Iowa summers and winters for almost 100 years, so our main focus on its rehabilitation was to make it look pretty again and run smarter: new wiring and electric, new paint and marquee letters, a fixed "roof" and new LED lights. We've received all the necessary safety approvals and all of the project pieces and labor are in house with our team of local engineers, electricians and contractors.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Friend of the Iowa

    Backer-only updates, and a that good feeling you get when you’ve done something awesome.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Movie Buff

    Shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page and backer-only updates, Iowa Theater sticker, single ticket voucher for a future regular screening at the Iowa.

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    22 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Iowa Pride

    Iowa t-shirt, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, backer-only updates.

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    52 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Date Night

    Two ticket vouchers for a future regular screening at the Iowa and vouchers for two free large popcorns, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, Iowa t-shirt, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, backer-only updates.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Cinema Lover

    Iowa mug, two ticket vouchers for a future regular screening at the Iowa and vouchers for two free large popcorns, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, Iowa t-shirt, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, backer-only updates.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your Name In Lights

    Name on marquee for a mutually agreed upon night (we’ll send you a photo if you aren’t local!) and name on Iowa’s permanent donor wall, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, backer-only updates.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Your Favorite Film

    Choose and present a regular public screening at the Iowa on a mutually agreed upon night (film must be G, PG, PG-13 or R rated), name on Iowa’s permanent donor wall, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, backer-only updates.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Free Popcorn For Life

    Free regular sized popcorn at the Iowa Theater for life, t-shirt, name on Iowa’s permanent donor wall, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, backer-only updates.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Yours For A Night

    Private movie screening for you and 150 of your friends on a mutually agreed upon date. That evening, your name will be illuminated on the Iowa’s marquee (does not include concessions). Name on Iowa’s permanent donor wall, shout out on the Iowa’s Facebook page, acknowledgement on the-iowa.com, backer-only updates.

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Funding period

- (30 days)