Downtown Movie Theater Proves Successful

DowntownTheater.jpgAs I noted in the previous post, I recently visited a small town in Iowa. In fact, it was Grinnell.

The town, at a little over 9,000 residents, is about half the size of Northfield. However, in spite of its relatively modest population, it has a visibly vital downtown. No doubt part of this vitality is due to Grinnell College, located at the north end of downtown.

As I mentioned in the post on their downtown library, the town has an interesting mix of retail offerings, many of which are familiar to us in Northfield. However, they’ve got something that we don’t have here…

…a downtown movie theater.

As I headed to my car after dinner, to drive to the motel out on the highway (there’s no Archer House in Grinnell), a large group of college students walked by, heading to…

…the downtown movie theater.

They could use non-motorized transportation, it was just a few blocks away.

A downtown movie theater…

…what a great idea!

2 thoughts on “Downtown Movie Theater Proves Successful

  1. we had a downtown theater, now its a “event center”. people want movie plexes, where are you going to put that?

  2. Ross, while a small theater in Northfield probably wouldn’t bring many well paid jobs it could be good entertainment draw. The Fridley Theater (Fridley Strand – Grinnell) chain has some 35 small town theaters in Iowa and Nebraska and even has one in not-so-small-town, Des Moines. Some one must feel the return on investment is worthwhile. Maybe the NDDC along with the Chamber of Commerce could research the theater financials and perhaps target some movie companies to open their screens here. Maybe you could find out how the Grinnell Strand overcame the potentially expensve fire suppression codes in Iowa that seem to come with this type of entertainment.
    As the previous post noted, most people seem to prefer the big screen stadiums. But there is always room for a small specialized niche theater like the Lagoon in Minneapolis.

Comments are closed.