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Camelot Theatre (85-01840)

Also known as: 85-022-105, Circle Theatre

1114 6th St
Nevada IA 50201

History and Architecture

Construction date

1928

Historic function(s)

Domestic/multiple dwelling
Recreation and culture/theater/movie theater

Current function(s)

Recreation and culture/theater/movie theater
Vacant/not in use

Architectural classification(s)

Late 19th and 20th century revivals
Late 19th and 20th century revivals: classical revival (neo-classical revival)

Architect(s)

Wetherell and Harrison, Des Moines, IA

Builder(s)

Jensen, P. E.

Evaluation Under National Register Criteria

National Register status

Listed as per NPS, 2003

Listed date(s)

May 9th, 2003

Area(s) of significance

Architecture
Commerce
Entertainment/recreation
Transportation

Narrative(s)

Retains the key character-defining features of its property type and clearly conveys its significant historic associations. A surviving example of an early twentieth century movie theater still in operation and retaining historic architectural integrity.

This three-story building has three façade bays, defined by the primary façade window configurations on the second and third floors. The third floor features single rectangular multi-light windows at the side bays, and a paired multi-light window at the center bay (replacing the historic circular windows at each bay). The second floor features paired multi-light windows with transoms at the side bays, and a tri-partite multi-light window with transoms at the center bay - each with Juliet balconies. A projecting dentilated brick cornice defines the roofline. Cream-colored paint conceals the historic brick. Movie theater entrance doors are centered in the first floor, flanked by a movie poster display window at the north bay and a storefront display window at the south bay. An entrance door leading to the second and third-floor apartments is located in a side bay to the south. A marquee above the theater entrance extends across the façade. The interior includes the following spaces and features: the entrance foyer with c1969 finishes flanked by toilet rooms and a ticket booth/office to the north and a concession counter to the south; the narrow second foyer with c1969 finishes with two staircases leading to the second floor historic projection booth and balcony; the open auditorium with slanted floor and seats arranged with two aisles; the c1969 wall and ceiling finishes in the auditorium including the c1969 seats and atmospheric detailing dating to the Fridley period; a c1969 stage; the movie theater screen and c1969 curtain; side exits; the historic fly loft behind the c1969 stage; and two historic apartments at the front of the building on the second and third floors with historic floor, wall, and ceiling finishes and the historic kitchens.

The theater was constructed in 1928 as the Circle Theatre, and acted as both a Vaudeville and a motion picture venue. The first owner lost the theater during the Great Depression, and sold the theater to Mr. Grossman. Mr. and Mrs. Grossman lived in one of the apartments at the front of the theater. Howard Mills aided the Grossman's with the management of the theater. In c1969 (assessor's page cites 1975), Mr. Grossman sold the theater to Fridley Theatres, who renovated the interior and exterior of the building. Sam and Susan Banks currently own the theater. They closed the theater in 2009.