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Marshalltown welcomes back the Orpheum

A few questions about the "about $3.4 million" opening

June 23, 2010
By John Speer
Excerpts from a news release from your Iowa Valley Community College District-----

MARSHALLTOWN – With all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood awards ceremony – complete with search lights over head, the debut of the new Orpheum neon tower, classic cars delivering dignitaries and special guests to the red carpet, the Orpheum Theater Center, 220 East Main Street, Marshalltown, begins its Grand Opening Gala on Wednesday, June 23.

•The black tie affair on June 23 begins with the arrival of special guests at 7 p.m. Among those attending will be Iowa’s Lt. Governor Patti Judge. Invitations were sent to many individuals who have been instrumental in the Orpheum Theater renovation project. The public is welcome to watch the red carpet event that begins at 7 p.m. for the invitation only Black Tie Affair guests.

•At 8 p.m. the invitation-only guests will enjoy an exclusive program and the official Orpheum Theater Center ribbon cutting ceremony. This will be followed by a social time in the Black Box Theatre with cocktails and refreshments. Pip Gordon, Orpheum Theater Center Director will be the emcee for the evening.

•The Orpheum Theater Center is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District. The $3.4 million Orpheum Theater Renovation project is part of the $35 million bond issue approved by voters in December 2006.

Some questions:

•At the very least, wouldn’t you think the organizers would have the good sense for “the official Orpheum Theater Center ribbon cutting ceremony” to be open to the public?

•Who is paying for the cocktails and refreshments for the “social time in the Black Box Theatre?” In fact, Who is footing the bill for the entire shindig?

•Is this a bit condescending? “The public is welcome to watch the red carpet event that begins at 7 p.m. for the invitation only Black Tie Affair guests.”

Comment:

As proud as they seem to be, only after taxpayer money was thrown into this project to the tune of $3.4 million, was the renovation of the Orpheum possible.

It was a project which languished for years because of lack of funding and ran over budget.

The news release does not mention one item of value of this opening to students of the Iowa Valley Community College District.

Nor is there a mention of students, themselves.

-J. Speer



IOWA VALLEY ORPHEUM & COFFEE SHOP NEWS RELEASES:

JUNE 3

Orpheum Coffee Shop returns to Main Street

Grand Opening is Wednesday, June 9



MARSHALLTOWN – It has been a few years since the aroma of coffee filled the air on the Orpheum Theater corner, at 220 East Main Street, but the Orpheum Coffee Shop is up and pouring with its grand opening celebration on Wednesday, June 9. Get ready for a smooth “Cup O Joe” and a delicious sweets or sandwiches to go with it.

Orpheum Coffee Shop Manager Shannon Mitchell of Marshalltown is no stranger to serving these delicacies. She owned and operated the popular Creek Bottom Coffee House in Marshalltown several years ago and her former clientele are more than ready to beat a path to the Orpheum Coffee Shop door. As a longtime Marshalltown resident she also served as Program Director at the Community Y.

While managing the Orpheum Coffee Shop, Shannon is a student at Marshalltown Community College working toward a degree in business education. She has three children, a wonderful husband and loves the theater, music, and summer! The Orpheum Coffee Shop is a perfect fit.

The Orpheum Coffee Shop will be open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and is a great summer destination; there is outside seating for 40 on the patio, and for an additional 10 inside.

“The coffee shop is located where the original Orpheum Coffee Shop was when the theater opened in 1949,” explains Mitchell. “Vern Milligan ran the coffee shop for many years and his family donated several historic items for display. The Coffee Shop decor includes movie memorabilia and will soon include photos from the original coffee shop along with a display of the original menu and menu board listing his seven cent cup of coffee!”

Shannon says those who expect to find "just a coffee shop" will be pleasantly surprised. “We can make many combinations of drink items with all the syrup flavorings we offer. Today, a customer ordered a peach and caramel milk shake! Our iced lattes and Jamocha shakes (that's a milkshake with a shot of espresso and chocolate) are sure to be a ‘top hit’ with customers.”

The Orpheum Coffee Shop’s goal is to offer the best espresso and coffee drinks possible with top quality, freshly roasted Fair Trade coffee beans and syrups. It has lattes, cappuccinos, smoothies, Italian sodas, malts, shakes, and ice cream! The Coffee Shop offers several Iowa Celebrity Lattes including Cinnamon Carson, Minted Mathers, Kutcher Krunch, Paulin Almond MacDonald Carey Cherry, and the must try Java Jean, a caramel and roasted hazelnut tribute to Marshalltown’s own beloved movie star.

Mitchell says the Orpheum Coffee Shop offers wraps, croissants, sandwiches and breakfast items, too. “My favorite sandwich is either the chicken salad croissant or the roast beef gyro wrap, both are really yummy. Our bakery items come freshly baked from the Morning Glory Bakery and the scones and muffins are awesome! When you need to cool off this summer don’t forget the delights of ice cream and sundaes, malts, milkshakes, or fruit smoothies, iced coffee, Italian sodas, or invent something new!

The Orpheum Coffee Shop also provides coffee, drinks, bakery items like cookies and scones, and boxed lunches to patrons utilizing the Orpheum Theater Center's educational classrooms.

“Menu items run from $1.50 cup of coffee to an entire meal for $5 to $8. It's a fun place to stop by!” adds Mitchell. In addition, the Orpheum Coffee Shop utilizes eco cups made from recycled paper, and plastic cups made from corn products that are compostable.

Stop by the Orpheum Coffee Shop and pick up a menu, then call in your lunch order when you’re in a hurry. Just call Shannon Mitchell or her helpers at the Orpheum Coffee Shop at 641-844-5908.

The Orpheum Theater Center Grand Opening Gala is June 23-26.



JUNE 9-

Orpheum Opening Gala Anniversary Ball is June 26

MARSHALLTOWN – If the last time you wore a formal or tux was your high school prom or your daughter’s wedding, it is time to renew the experience of glamour and romance by participating in the very special Orpheum Theater Center Grand Opening Gala Anniversary Ball. Tickets for the 1940s swing dance are required and are available for $25 each at the Orpheum Box Office, 220 E. Main Street; Mary Katherine’s, 119 E. Main Street; or from Renaie Hutzel in the MCC Provost office on the MCC campus, 3700 S. Center St., all in Marshalltown. Tickets will also be available at the Orpheum box office during the Gala events prior to the ball. Reservations may be made by calling Renaie at 641-844-5719. Mary Katherine’s is also offering special Orpheum rates for tux rental.

The Gala Anniversary Ball is an adult admission only black tie affair set for Saturday, June 26, 9 p.m. to Midnight at the Orpheum Theater Center. Valet service will be provided and Apgar Photography will be on site for souvenir photos. Denny Grabenbauer will serve as emcee of the event and the local Sweet Adelines will entertain with their delightful harmony. Champagne and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres will be served.

High Society Big Band, from the Des Moines area, will provide music for dancing and listening. The 16-piece Big Band also has a vocal group, the High Tones. High Society Big Band recreates the swinging jazz sounds of the Big Band era but its repertoire includes a wide variety of popular music.

The Orpheum Theater Center Grand Opening Gala Anniversary Ball will be the climax of a four-day celebration. A complete schedule of the Gala events is available at www.iavalley.edu/mcc. For more information on the Orpheum events June 23 to 26, or following the opening, contact Pip Gordon, Director of the Orpheum Theater Center, at 641-844-5909 or Pip.Gordon@iavalley.edu. The Orpheum Theater Center is a member of the League of Historic American Theaters and it is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District.

Sidebar Info:

In 2006 voters of Iowa Valley Community College District approved a $35 million bond issue that included the restoration of the Orpheum Theater on Main Street Marshalltown. The facility is for community and district residents and the students of Marshalltown Community College’s fine arts programs including curriculum in theatre, set design and building, lighting and sound technology, broadcast technology, and performance arts.

The total cost of the Orpheum Theater Center renovation was approximately $3.4 million. The project received a $550,000 Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) Grant, a Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation Challenge Grant of $150,000, a $60,000 Main Street Challenge Grant, $25,000 previously raised by The Orpheum Center, City of Marshalltown $20,000, Marshall County $10,000, Community Foundation Grant of $4,500, $1.5 million from the Bond Issue, fundraising by the Iowa Valley Leadership Class of 2008, and tremendous support by the individuals and partners in the community, both through financial and in-kind contributions.



JUNE 14-

Orpheum Coffee Shop Grand Opening held June 9

MARSHALLTOWN – In the first of several steps, the Orpheum Coffee Shop Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting was held June 9, as the new community hub begins to roll. Pip Gordon, Director of the Orpheum Theater Center, welcomed guests to celebrate the success of this long-awaited renewal of Marshalltown’s Main Street history.

Speaking on behalf of Iowa Valley Community College District, Dr. Chris Russell, Associate Provost of Marshalltown Community College said, “It is my pleasure to thank the citizens of Marshalltown and the communities from all over our College District Area VI for their support of the college and most especially the last bond initiative. We also thank our Board of Directors for helping the college move forward on this idea. It has been great to see these grounds move from the “percolations” of a few visionaries planning this historical space several years ago to the hard work of many added partners finalizing and making this result come alive. This is a place for when you are looking for more than just the daily grind, and it is a place where the community can come see what we have brewing at the college. In addition, you can come and get your caffeine fix with a cup of joe! Again, we would like to espresso our thanks for the partners that have come together over a great many years to realize this vision!”

Yvonne Mallory, Board Director of District #6, spoke on behalf of the Iowa Valley Community College District Board and thanked the voters who approved the bond issue that made the day possible. “We also wish to thank individuals, businesses, and the Orpheum Foundation. Without the Foundation’s vision and private contributions this day would not be happening. Special thanks goes to Starla.”

“Finally, the trustees wish to commend the staff and administration at the District Office as well as administrative leaders at Marshalltown Community College for their hard work; specifically Dr. Christopher Duree. Most especially we need to recognize the expertise and vision of Pip Gordon who knows how to bring the Orpheum Theater to us as a unique educational and social venue for Marshalltown and surrounding communities. It is a great day!” added Mallory.

Opening ceremonies for the Orpheum Theater Center have been set for June 23 to honor many of those who were instrumental in saving the Orpheum. The public is welcome to watch the red carpet event that begins at 7 p.m. for the invitation only Black Tie Affair guests. Chuck Carpenter of KDAO will announce live from the red carpet and KFJB will broadcast from the Black Box Theatre. Special guests will be ushered inside where hors d’oeuvres await.

Gordon is extremely pleased to announce that Lt. Governor Patti Judge’s staff has confirmed that she will attend the Opening Ceremonies June 23.

At 8 p.m. the invitation-only guests will enjoy a program and ribbon cutting ceremony with a special performance by Marshalltown native/singer Amber Duimstra. This will be followed by a social time in the Black Box Theatre with cocktails and refreshments.

The Orpheum Theater Center is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District.





JUNE 15-

Orpheum Gala Opening is June 23

MARSHALLTOWN – With all the glitz and glamour of a Hollywood awards ceremony – complete with search lights over head, the debut of the new Orpheum neon tower, classic cars delivering dignitaries and special guests to the red carpet, the Orpheum Theater Center, 220 East Main Street, Marshalltown, begins its Grand Opening Gala on Wednesday, June 23.

The Radio Keith Orpheum (RKO) opened in Marshalltown as a new movie house to replace the Capitol Theatre that was destroyed by fire in 1946. Just as the community awaited the first opening event, the Orpheum renovation opening brings equal excitement. Many of the week’s events will be reminiscent of the original Orpheum opening night in June 1949 when Ruth Warrick and Gabby Hayes were featured guests.

The black tie affair on June 23 begins with the arrival of special guests at 7 p.m. Among those attending will be Iowa’s Lt. Governor Patti Judge. Invitations were sent to many individuals who have been instrumental in the Orpheum Theater renovation project. The public is welcome to watch the red carpet event that begins at 7 p.m. for the invitation only Black Tie Affair guests. Chuck Carpenter of KDAO will announce live from the red carpet and KFJB will broadcast from the Black Box Theatre. Special guests will be ushered inside where hors d’oeuvres await.

At 8 p.m. the invitation-only guests will enjoy an exclusive program and the official Orpheum Theater Center ribbon cutting ceremony. This will be followed by a social time in the Black Box Theatre with cocktails and refreshments. Pip Gordon, Orpheum Theater Center Director will be the emcee for the evening.

A special performance that evening will be by Marshalltown native Amber Duimstra, singing the same song Ruth Warrick shared in 1949. Duimstra is a 1995 graduate of MHS. She earned a bachelor’s degree Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN. Amber is currently working at Greater Des Moines Habitat for Humanity as Manager of Volunteer Services. She also performs in two music groups, a jazz trio "The Ben Hagen Trio" and a five-piece cover band "Major Day". She fondly remembers being dropped off at the Orpheum for junior high dates; specifically for "Twins" with Arnold Schwarzenegger. She looks forward to helping create new memories during the Orpheum Theater Center Grand Opening Gala.

The Orpheum Theater Center is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District. The $3.4 million Orpheum Theater Renovation project is part of the $35 million bond issue approved by voters in December 2006. For more information about The Orpheum Theater Center, a member of the League of Historic American Theaters contact Pip Gordon, 641-844-5909 or Pip.Gordon@iavalley.edu. A complete Gala Week schedule is available at www.iavalley.edu/mcc.



JUNE 16-

Orpheum Gala Opening Symposium is June 26

MARSHALLTOWN – Sixty-one years after the original opening of the RKO Orpheum Theater, 220 East Main Street, Marshalltown, the public can once again seek comfort and entertainment in the renovated facility described in 1949 as a “healthfully air-conditioned motion picture palace.” On Saturday, June 26, at 2 p.m. the Orpheum Theater Center will premiere its educational component, one of the goals set when the renovation project was conceived several years ago.

The Orpheum Gala Opening Symposium is free and will be held in the Orpheum movie theater, 2 p.m., June 26. This is sponsored by Iowa Valley Community College District, however, due to limited seating, tickets are required and available at the Orpheum Box Office or may be reserved by calling 641-844-5909. The Symposium will feature perspectives on the history of theater in Marshalltown.

Professor David Engel of Marshalltown Community College will moderate the symposium. Guest speakers include Dr. David Hinton, past professor of Vanderbilt University presenting “Marshalltown and the Movies”; and Gene Beach, Mayor of Marshalltown and President of Marshalltown Community Theatre presenting “Marshalltown and the Theatre”.

Dr. David Hinton is a native of Marshalltown and now an internationally recognized film historian. He grew up with and in the RKO Orpheum Theater. “I attended movies there at least once a week from age 8-18 and after, and I am a long-time friend of Bob Fridley of Fridley Theaters, the last owner of the Orpheum.”

“Jean Seberg is a lifelong fascination of mine. I grew up with Jean's brother David. My mother and Jean's mother were the best of friends, and I observed her career from beginning to end. I also have an extensive collection of Jean Seberg memorabilia. My talk will be rich with personal anecdotes about Jean and her importance to film history,” says Dr. Hinton.

Dr. Hinton has published two books on film history (The Films of Leni Riefenstahl; Celluloid Ivy: Higher Education in the Movies 1960-1990) and a book on economic development. He has served as Vice President of O’More College of Design, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Watkins College of Art and Design, and Dean of Academic Affairs for The Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville. Dr. Hinton was also an instructor in film history and contemporary global cinema for nine years at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Hinton is a regular participant in the Cannes International Film Festival.

Gene L. Beach has been active in Marshalltown Community Theater, both performing and directing since 1971. He served on the Board of Directors in several capacities, most recently as President. Having appeared in over 35 productions he says his favorite roles were Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Norman in On Golden Pond, and the aging actor in Moon Over Buffalo. In addition to being on the Theater Board and performing on-stage, Beach has directed many shows including I Never Sang for my Father, Life with Mother, Life with Father, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, and The Lion in Winter. Gene and his wife, Kay, co-directed Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Dancing at Lughnasa, and I’m Herbert. He is the honorable Mayor of Marshalltown and a retired partner at the firm Grimes, Buck, Schoell, Beach & Hitchins.

Professor Engel has been an instructor at Marshalltown Community College since the fall of 1995. He earned his B.A. from the University of Iowa in Speech and Dramatic Arts and his Masters in Directing from the University of South Carolina. He has acted in, designed or directed over 100 stage or television productions over the years. Professor Engel has also written his own textbook for public speaking courses, entitled Speaking Simply which is currently being used at MCC and will be in its third edition this fall. He has served in the past as MCC Faculty President and is currently the President of the Iowa Valley Community College District Education Association. One of his favorite quotes is, “All the World’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” from “As You Like It”.

The Orpheum will also be open for free tours and an open house from 9 to 11 a.m. the morning of June 26, and “Treasure Island” will be shown at 11 a.m. “King Kong” will be the 5 p.m. feature movie. Free tickets for the movies, sponsored by IVCCD, are available at the Orpheum box office.

The Orpheum Theater Center Grand Opening Gala Anniversary Ball, 9 p.m. to Midnight, on Saturday, June 26, will be the climax of a four-day celebration. A complete schedule of the Gala events is available at www.iavalley.edu/mcc. For more information on the Orpheum events June 23 to 26, or following the opening, contact Pip Gordon, Director of the Orpheum Theater Center, at 641-844-5909 or Pip.Gordon@iavalley.edu. The Orpheum Theater Center is a member of the League of Historic American Theaters and it is administered by Iowa Valley Community College District.



Article Photos

The message on the marquee speaks volumes about what the editorial position of the News-Herald and Chronicle has been concerning the $3.4 million community college district-wide taxpayer funded restoration of Marshalltown’s Orpheum Theatre. This photo accompanied a June 15 news release, one of no less than five news releases issued by the college in June concerning the Orpheum and also, it’s new coffee shop.
Iowa Valley photo

 
 

 

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