A Renovated Theatre Rejuvenates Small Iowa Community [PHOTOS]
I grew up in Ida Grove, Iowa. I've mentioned my humble beginnings a few times--it's a thing a lot of Iowans can relate to.
In small towns across the Hawkeye State, Friday night football is king, there are but a few companies that drive the local economy, there are less than ten restaurants in town, and (if you're lucky) you may see one or two stoplights when you pass through.
There's not much else, especially for culture. Unless you stop in what has become a hub of entertainment in tiny Ida Grove.
After nearly a decade of deterioration, The KING Theatre sat in the middle of town unattended -- a sore sight for anyone passing through.
A group of passionate, driven, and hard-working people were determined to not leave it that way -- now known as the Ida Grove Foundation. My dad was an integral part of this, and I'm very proud of what he undertook and accomplished.
After I left home and my sister had been away at college for several years, my dad had a tough time. Like many empty-nesters, he struggled with determining what his purpose was in this world. Sure, he was still our dad, but we didn't need his guidance to the same degree we once did.
My dad found the theatre. He found people that would put in as much effort as he would. The sheer amount of work and time put into this place by these people was incredible. Here's what he had to say:
Memories are made in a place like (the theatre), a place where people gather. It was too much for a handful of us to take, and that handful became the Ida Grove Foundation, the entity that decided to renovate the King. We had seen enough of our 100 year plus old buildings fall. We'd be damned if this meeting place was next.
People have been without local entertainment for so long that we are training them to expect it through marketing. The audiences are coming back and making new memories of their own. It's a dream realized. I'm fortunate to be part of that handful of people who took a risk for the sake of our community.
Though The KING will be closed on December 24th, they will be showing SING 2 on Christmas Day.
Take a look at the way it's evolved through the years, and what it has become today: