While the Mitchell County community of Saint Ansgar hasn’t had an active movie theatre for over thirty years, residents and visitors can enjoy the marquee, sit in the old theatre seats, and view the original ticket booth. Spots for movie posters have been replaced with advertisements for dresses and tuxedo rentals, as the movie house has been converted to The Bridal Theatre, a local business featuring dresses and accessories for proms, weddings, and other special occasions.
Construction on the building began in April 8, 1937, and the Roxy Theatre officially opened less than four months later. The Saint Ansgar Enterprise newspaper had a number of articles highlighting the theatre’s amenities, including the “finest” sound and projection equipment, “comfortable upholstered chairs,” and a 12 x 16 foot screen. The Roxy also was equipped with a “crying room,” a place where mothers “can take their children when they get fretty and see the picture from a glass window.”
After serving as a bowling alley for a short time, the building was reopened as the Cinema Capri in October 1977. The Bridal Theatre business was established two years later.
The small Hometown Foods grocery store chain was established in 1996, when Iowa City resident Lyndon Johnson purchased an independent grocery store in the Grundy County town of Conrad, Iowa. Prior to the new store ownership venture, Johnson had spent his entire career in the grocery business, working in a variety of roles in stores across the state from Muscatine to Dubuque to Ottumwa.
Next, Johnson purchased the grocery store in Gladbrook in adjacent Tama County in 2000. Since opening the Gladborook store, the successful chain has added for more stores and now has a presence in Waterloo, Hubbard, State Center, and Baxter. In 2010, he was recognized by the Iowa Grocery Industry Association as Retailer of the Year. The Gladbrook and other stores are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Corydon is one of several small county seats along the states’s southern border with Hy-Vee grocery store serving the community. Hy-Vee, which can trace its roots to a short-lived Beaconsfield supply store just two counties away, has had a presence in the Wayne County community of Corydon since 1939, when a the “Corydon Supply Store” opened on the west side of the town square in 1939. The Hy-Vee name was applied to the store in the 1950s as part of a company-wide rebranding effort.
The location operated consecutively for nearly 17 years before a downtown fire temporarily closed the store and burned three nearby buildings in August 1956. The store was subsequently moved to a new downtown location on State Highway 2, on the south side of the square, reopening just 70 days after the previous store burned. The Corydon Hy-Vee was relocated to its present (pictured) location in 1969, in a new building just east of downtown on Highway 2. The 9,000-square-feet building is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.