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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Dubuque in Dubuque County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Five Flags Theater

(Majestic Theater)

 
 
Five Flags Theater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2013
1. Five Flags Theater Marker
Inscription. 4th and Main Streets has hosted public entertainment since the 1840’s. Designed by America’s premier theater architects, CW and George Rapp, the Majestic is a Renaissance Revival style with French and Italian influences. The original structure, the Bijou, burned down in 1910 and was replaced by the Majestic.

The superstars of the day have performed on her stage. Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Ethel Barrymore and Sara Bernhardt.

When movies replaced live theater, the Majestic was renamed the Orpheum in 1929.

Saved from demolition in 1969, this irreplaceable treasure underwent extensive renovation. The theater was returned to her glittering hues of gold, bronze, copper and burgundy.

Upon completion, the Orpheum was renamed Five Flags Theater; symbolic of the five nations that governed the region following Marquette and Joliet’s Upper Mississippi exploration in 1673.

The theater is as much an experience to see as the shows that come to life on her stage. The building’s purpose has always remained the same… to provide a home for the entertainment of Dubuque.
 
Location. 42° 29.863′ N, 90° 39.939′ W. Marker is in Dubuque, Iowa, in Dubuque County. Marker is on Main Street north of West 4th Street, on the right when traveling
Five Flags Theater (<i>wide view from Main Street; marker visible on wall, right of entrance</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2013
2. Five Flags Theater (wide view from Main Street; marker visible on wall, right of entrance)
south. Touch for map. Marker is a large metal plaque, mounted at eye-level, directly on the subject building, near the main front entrance, facing Main Street. Marker is at or near this postal address: 405 Main Street, Dubuque IA 52001, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Methodist Chapel (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); "Fourth Street Elevator" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Grand Opera House (approx. ¼ mile away); Old Dubuque County Jail (approx. ¼ mile away); John Francis Rague (approx. ¼ mile away); Iowa's First Church (approx. half a mile away); Abraham Lincoln (approx. half a mile away); Dubuque Shot Tower (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Dubuque.
 
Regarding Five Flags Theater. National Register of Historic Places (1972)
 
Also see . . .
1. Five Flags Center. Five Flags Center is a multi-purpose facility in downtown Dubuque, Iowa. It is named for the five flags that have flown over Dubuque; the Fleur de Lis of France (1673–1763), the Royal Flag of Spain (1763–1803), the Union Jack of Great Britain (1780, during a brief interruption of Spanish rule), the French Republic Flag of Napoleon (1803)
Five Flags Theater (<i>southeast corner view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2013
3. Five Flags Theater (southeast corner view)
& America's Stars and Stripes (1803–Present). It is currently the home of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra, high school musicals, and occasional concerts and ballet productions. (Submitted on November 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. The present structure is the third to stand on this site. The first theater was built in 1840 and was known as the Athenaeum Theater. It was enlarged, remodeled and renamed the City Hotel in 1846. The City Hotel continued as a site for theatrical performances, as did its successor, the Peosta House. In 1877 the Peosta House was torn down and the 4th Street or Dubuque Opera House was built on the site. The Opera House was remodeled and became known as Bartell's Vaudeville House in 1896. In 1903 it was renamed the Coates Opera House, and in 1904 its name was changed to the Bijou. In 1909 the Bijou was extensively remodeled and renamed the New Bijou in 1910. The New Bijou stood less than six months, as it burned down in early 1910. In 1910 the Orpheum was built. At that time it was called the Majestic Theater and later the Spensley. The Orpheum Theatre of today looks much the same as the Majestic of 1910. (Submitted on November 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Rapp and Rapp. The
Five Flags Theater (<i>National Register of Historic Places plaque; mounted at southeast corner</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2013
4. Five Flags Theater (National Register of Historic Places plaque; mounted at southeast corner)
This property has been
placed on the
National Register
of Historic Places

by the United States
Department of the Interior
architectural firm Rapp and Rapp was active in Chicago, Illinois during the early 20th century. Brothers Cornelius Ward Rapp and George Leslie Rapp of Carbondale, Illinois were the named partners and 1899 alumni of the University of Illinois School of Architecture. The firm is well known as one of the leading designers of early 20th century movie palaces. It designed over 400 theatres, including the Five Flags Theater, Dubuque, Iowa (1910), the Chicago Theatre (1921), Bismarck Hotel and Theatre (1926), Oriental Theater, Chicago (1926), and the Paramount Theatres in New York (1926) and Aurora (1931). (Submitted on November 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. ArchitectureArts, Letters, MusicEntertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on November 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 30 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 21, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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