540 Lights—The Iowa Theater’s Marquee Stays On

Anyone who reads my posts knows I was instrumental in the renovation and reopening of my small town’s single-screen movie theater a couple of years ago. Its official name is The Winterset Iowa Theater, but around here folks just call it The Iowa. Like theaters across America and around the world, due to the COVID19 pandemic, The Iowa’s doors are closed.

With no revenue for the foreseeable future, worries about little Winterset’s nonprofit movie house are included with all my other worries. My daughter Rebecca Fons, who serves as programmer and chief operating manager (fully donating her time), is working with other board members to figure out how to help our employees and ensure the safety of the building and equipment during this time.

Scott Smith, The Iowa’s trusty manager, is handling the physical part, while others of us communicate with our bank, Farmers & Merchants, located on the other side of the square.

Brian Downes, director of the John Wayne Birthplace Museum (also located in Winterset) once called The Iowa’s marquee the heartbeat of our community, and I have to say I agree. Whenever I return to town after dark, the beauty of those 540 flashing lights draws me in like a spaceship tractor beam. I like to think others in the community feel the same way.

Though the doors of The Iowa are closed and locked for now, our theater is not truly dark, its marquee message a bright beacon of optimism as together we stay home and cope. Please consider donating here. Your support would help a lot.

2 Responses

  1. Brian Downes
    | Reply

    Leaving the lights on was a brilliant idea. Gives hope to us all. Brian Downes

  2. Valerie Fons
    | Reply

    The lower lights are burning…hymn title. A light on in the window. You got it right. Thank you.

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