The Malek Theatre in downtown Independence, Iowa, was considered state-of-the-art when it opened to patrons in October 1946. The exterior of the 863-seat theatre was constructed with stone, vitreolite and glass block in the Art Deco style. In an effort to create a more efficient operation and increase theatre traffic, the theatre was duplexed in the mid-1980s. The split was ultimately unsuccessful, and the theatre has now been vacant for nearly two decades.
Though there has been talk of restoring the theatre to its former glory, no concrete plans are in place. The recent opening of a modern two-screen cinema near the edge of town likely decreased demand for a renovated theatre.