Intricate neon and incandescent lights cover the red and white marquee at the Iowa Theater in Onawa. Located on the western edge of Onawa’s downtown district, the 275-seat single screen theatre dates to the late 1930s. It unexpectedly shut its doors in 1994 with a sign stating it was closed for renovations. In 2002, an Onawa resident purchased the theatre, which had fallen to a state of disrepair.
The dilapidated theatre underwent a quarter-million dollar renovation, with a new ceiling, all new seats, new draperies, doors and the latest screen and sound technologies. Movies are a reasonable $6 for adults, with specials on Monday and Tuesday nights; in 1982, seats were $1.50 each.