Sign In | Create an Account | Welcome, . My Account | Logout | Subscribe | Submit News | Home RSS
 
 
 

Now Playing: Two Views of the Orhpeum

December 6, 2018
Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

By Bob Untiedt

Orpheum Center Director

Earlier this year, a senior manager at a large company, new to town, mentioned that he and his family came to a movie the Orpheum had offered for free to his child's elementary school. He said that he was not looking forward to this very much, but his kid really wanted to go.

Article Photos

And then he said, "And it was a great time for our whole family."

Folks who are from Marshalltown tell of coming to movies here as a kid. It was part of growing up here coming to the Orpheum for a movie. It still means something to them, in some cases decades after they've been here for any movie.

More currently, we have had experiences of very theatrical presentations of the Christmas Tree portion of Marshalltown's Holiday Stroll; people remark about how the whole presentation really adds to the beauty of the event. Businesses and social clubs who meet here regularly tell Orpheum employees later that this space added a great dimension to their meeting. Blues fans rave about performances here, whether it's our 'Blues & BBQ' event, or the nationally known blues artist, Ruthie Foster they think about the Orpheum as a place that really has given them memories they'll always cherish. They think of it as an important part of what makes Marshalltown home.

What is home? What does it mean to belong to a place? Well, of course, the center of what anyone calls 'home' is their family. And their friends, and their neighborhood. But an additional important element of this definition is that the most important part of what you call "home" are the best memories you have in a place. The Orpheum is part of what makes Marshalltown home to people.

Currently the Orpheum is undergoing extensive repairs caused by the July 19 tornado, but we are still offering movies at the elementary schools and co-sponsoring a variety of performances in the community. The Nov. 29 Irish Christmas in America concert at First Baptist Church promises to be yet another amazing and memorable event! Do you have your tickets?

At this point, it's anticipated that we will reopen in late spring or early summer. You can be assured that you'll hear about it via local media, social media and word of mouth! We are committed to restoring the Orpheum facilities and programs as quickly as possible.

In 2019, I ask you to commit to yourself, your family, and your friends to coming here at least one more time than you did in 2018. The Orpheum helps businesses recruit and retain employees. The Orpheum helps other community groups elementary schools and businesses, social service organizations, and our big community celebrations deepen the connection with our town. The Orpheum is reshaping what a great summer in Marshalltown looks like, through its 10-week free Live After 5 concert series.

The Orpheum helps to make some of the best memories Marshalltown families will ever have. Watch for our events and come see us when we re-open!

Bob Untiedt is the Director of the Orpheum Theater Center, which is operated by Iowa Valley Community College District.

The Orpheum- a showcase for Marshalltown - at an expense for us

By John Speer

Editor

The Chronicle

"The Orpheum helps to make some of the best memories Marshalltown families will ever have."-

Bob Unteidt, director of the Orpheum Theater Center, writes near the end of his accompanying editorial on this page.

He makes a pretty good case for what is foreseen in the future plans for the Iowa Valley Community College District-owned downtown Marshalltown movie house. It is being restored after being heavily damaged in the July tornado which swept through downtown, residential and industrial sections of Marshalltown. The loss is reported covered by insurance.

While it is a certainty Mr. Unteidt is sincere and is following the direction Iowa Valley has chartered for the Orpheum once it is restored it simply is not a plan that's very digestible here.

He makes much of the benefits: "The Orpheum helps other community groups elementary schools and businesses, social service organizations, and our big community celebrations deepen the connection with our town. The Orpheum is reshaping what a great summer in Marshalltown looks like, through its 10-week free Live After 5 concert series."

The simple question for Iowa Valley: Where's the promised educational value of the Orpheum?

There is no mention nor apparently any plans are in place for community college student classes.

This isn't the first time a Chronicle / News-Herald editorial has questioned the educational or community college district as a whole in the value of the Orpheum-

July, 2017- "Here we go again:" not only is there free music but there's a free summer family movie schedule for both Friday and Saturday in the Orpheum. Yes, they have paid sponsorship, but where's the educational value, and, how much is this costing in Orpheum operational costs?

And, yes, here we go once again- there's three "Black Box events" scheduled. Again, musical entertainment and again, is there education going on and, how much is this costing in Orpheum operational costs? Given the history of the Iowa Valley Orpheum operation, is it not now time to call upon the Iowa Valley Board to direct the Orpheum be made into a schoolhouse?

August, 2016- Remember, Iowa Valley took over the theatre after Marshalltown efforts to sustain it appeared stalled or were dead in the water.

And then, through a grand plan to incorporate Marshalltown Community College's theatre classes with a former Grinnell College professor at the helm, operations ended with questions to say the least.

Along with the ongoing attempts to compete with private business with a coffee shop - cafe in the theatre, providing Marshalltown with another movie venue and occasional productions which are geared to Marshalltown, tell us where's the educational benefit?

July, 2013: When Iowa Valley tucked the bail-out of Marshalltown's Orpheum Theatre into a $35 million bond issue in 2006, its wisdom was questioned on these pages more than once.

The beleaguered Orpheum project had bogged down, Marshalltown couldn't or wouldn't finance restoring the downtown movie house and the work had lingered for years.

Along came the scheme to rescue the Orpheum. It fell, to the tune of $3 million-plus, right in the pockets of Community College District property taxpayers. Note South Tama County voters narrowly rejected the bond issue, but the majority of the district, with community colleges and projects in Grinnell, Iowa Falls and, of course Marshalltown, assured passage.

It seemed more than a bit curious to at least some taxpayers who watched when it opened with red carpets, ushers in period uniforms and a government coffee shop to compete with private business rolled out.

It should come as no surprise to anyone the Orpheum is costing money - a lot of money, as reported.

Now we have learned "invited community members" were to attend a meeting on Monday, July 22, concerning possible adjustments to what's going on at the theatre.

June, 2010: 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.

Some questions then:

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."

The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors needs to take a hard look at the Orpheum venue, the college's mandate for education and how these fall far short in the eyes of the taxpayers who do not live in Marshalltown.

 
 

 

I am looking for:
in:
News, Blogs & Events Web