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Iowa City Movie Theater: A Haven For Film Enthusiasts

Iowa City Movie Theater: A Haven For Film Enthusiasts
Iowa City Movie Theater

Iowa City is a charming and vibrant city that is home to some of the most renowned cultural attractions in the Midwest. One of the most notable attractions in Iowa City is the Iowa City Movie Theater. This historic movie theater is located in the heart of downtown Iowa City and has been a popular destination for film enthusiasts for many years. In this article, we will explore the history, features, and attractions of the Iowa City Movie Theater.

History of Iowa City Movie Theater

The Iowa City Movie Theater, also known as the Englert Theater, was originally built in 1912 as a vaudeville theater. The theater was purchased by the Englert Theatre Company in 1917 and was renamed the Englert Theater. It operated as a movie theater until the early 1980s when it was closed due to financial struggles. However, the community rallied to save the theater, and in 1999 it was renovated and reopened as a performing arts center.

Features of Iowa City Movie Theater

The Iowa City Movie Theater is a beautifully restored historic theater that boasts state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment. The theater has a seating capacity of 725 and is equipped with Dolby Digital Surround Sound, a high-definition digital projector, and a large screen. The theater also has a spacious lobby area that is perfect for socializing before and after the show. In addition, the theater is equipped with a full bar that serves a variety of drinks and snacks.

Attractions at Iowa City Movie Theater

The Iowa City Movie Theater is not just a place to watch movies; it also hosts a variety of events and performances throughout the year. The theater hosts concerts, plays, comedy shows, and more. In addition, the theater hosts several film festivals throughout the year, including the Iowa City International Documentary Film Festival and the Iowa City Latino Festival.

One of the most popular attractions at the Iowa City Movie Theater is the Bijou Film Board. The Bijou Film Board is a student-run organization that screens independent and foreign films at the theater. The organization has been a fixture at the theater since the 1970s and has helped to establish the theater as a hub for independent and avant-garde cinema.

The Iowa City Movie Theater is also known for its commitment to community outreach. The theater partners with local schools and community organizations to provide educational programming and workshops. The theater also hosts free screenings of classic films and documentaries as part of its mission to provide access to quality cinema for everyone in the community.

The Iowa City Movie Theater is a cultural gem in the heart of Iowa City. With its rich history, state-of-the-art equipment, and commitment to community outreach, the theater is a haven for film enthusiasts and a beloved institution in the community. Whether you’re in the mood for a classic movie, an independent film, or a live performance, the Iowa City Movie Theater is the perfect destination.

Unique Aspects of Iowa City Movie Theaters

One of the unique aspects of Iowa City movie theaters is their focus on community engagement. Many of the theaters in the area host special events and screenings that bring people together and celebrate the art of cinema.

For example, the Bijou Film Board is a student-run organization that has been showing films on the University of Iowa campus since 1972. It screens a mix of arthouse and mainstream films, and also hosts special events such as film festivals and guest speaker appearances.

Another example is the Iowa City Documentary Film Festival, which takes place annually and showcases the best in documentary filmmaking from around the world. It also includes panel discussions and workshops that allow audiences to engage with the filmmakers and explore the issues raised by the films.


From its rich history to its diverse offerings and focus on community engagement, the Iowa City movie theater scene is truly something special. Whether you are a film buff or just looking for a fun night out, there is no shortage of options in this vibrant college town.