Unique Movie Theaters in Iowa

From historic venues dating back to the 1800’s to modern art-deco spaces, the following unique movie theaters in Iowa offer a trip through the bygone eras of cinema. 

Lake Theatre

Clear Lake

Steeped in history and exuding small-town charm, Lake Theatre has been a staple in the community since its creation in 1890, when it was an opera house. The intimate setting and vintage aesthetics create a unique atmosphere, making every visit a nostalgic journey through time. Current movie showings at the theater include Mean Girls and Wonka, with tickets costing $5 per adult and $4 for children under 12. For more information, visit clearlaketheatre.com.

Fleur Cinema & Café

Des Moines

Fleur Cinema & Café in Des Moines offers a retro vibe reminiscent of classic cinema. With its sleek design and state-of-the-art amenities, the unique movie theater in Iowa provides a contemporary movie-watching experience. The theater boasts multiple screens, comfortable seating and a selection of independent and mainstream films, with upcoming showings including Poor ThingsAmerican Fiction and All of Us Strangers. Guests can enjoy an assortment of snacks from the on-site cafe, including beer, wine, coffee, muffins and desserts. Tickets are $6.51 per person. For more information, visit fleurcinema.com.

The Iowa Theater

The Iowa Theater


Venturing into Winterset, film fans will discover The Iowa Theater, a cinematic gem with a rich history. Initially constructed in the 1800’s, this theater has undergone various transformations, evolving into a historical hub for the community. The Iowa Theater not only showcases the latest films but also hosts live events and performances, making it a dynamic space that transcends the traditional movie-going experience. (Be sure to visit on a Wednesday for Way Back Wednesday nights, with blast from the past movie showings, like Titanic and Doctor Zhivago.) Current movies playing include The Iron Claw and Mean Girls. General admission is $8 per person. For more information, visit the-iowa.com.

Watts Theatre


In the small town of Osage, Watts Theatre, established in 1950, is a unique movie theater in Iowa that has weathered the storms of time, maintaining its commitment to providing entertainment for generations. The historic theatre showcases a variety of films, with current showings including Wish, Aquaman and The Lost KingdomThe Boys in the Boat and Migration. Tickets must be purchased in person at the box office, with admission costing $5.50 for adults and $4.50 for children. For more information, visit wattstheatre.com.

The Capitol

The Capitol 


Located in the heart of Downtown Burlington, The Capitol is a historic movie theater and performing arts venue that was built in 1937. The theater has preserved the grandeur of its classic cinema architecture, with art-deco designs and glowing signs. The intimate venue holds only 367 seats, with a 1,500-sq.-ft. stage. Classic films, live shows and independent and modern movies can be seen at The Capitol, with upcoming showings including You Only Live TwiceThe Boy and the Heron and Groundhog Day. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. For more information, visit burlingtoncapitoltheater.com.

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