Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines (2013)Documentary · 29 June 2013
Lost Cinemas of Greater Des Moines covers the rise and fall of the great movie theatre exhibition period of approximately 1905 to 1980 in the capital city. The narrative begins with the rise of nickelodeons amidst the proliferation of vaudeville houses around the turn of the century-including the fifth theatre in the nation to show only movies-through the golden age of moviegoing during the 1940s, drawing movie stars and world premieres to the area-and into the decline of the 1950s and 1960s, when an inordinate number of movie theatres were razed. Only two of the original theatres remain, and a large chunk of architectural splendor became lost to this midwestern city. Downtown Des Moines often became neglected as a result, and many more historic structures-not just movie theatres-have been destroyed since. Lost Cinemas reminds us of a beautiful history that deserves preservation, in the hopes that what's left can be rescued, restored, and enjoyed by current and future generations.
- Written by