Iowa Theaters Survey


STRATA Architecture Inc. and Sally Schwenk Associates worked in collaboration to survey and evaluate 200 selected theatres located throughout the state of Iowa in order to broaden the geographic representation of Iowa’s National Register movie theaters and to investigate and document movie theaters in under-represented areas and farming communities. Our focus was to document the historic contexts, typologies and history of film throughout the state of Iowa.

This work was funded in part with a Preserve America grant through the National Park Service and as such, work was done in conformance with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Identification and NPS Guidelines for Local Surveys. The intensive level historical/architectural survey included the completion of individual survey forms with geographic information, historic photographs (when available), historic Sanborn Map information, and current architectural conditions. Archival digital photography was also completed for each of the 200 properties surveyed. This project established a framework which will be used to nominate additional movie theaters to the National Register of Historic Places through the production of a Multiple Property National Register document which outlines historic contexts, movie theater theme, resource type, and periods of significance.