The Princess Theater
This building was constructed in 1887 by William Timby for the W.A. Simpson Department Store. It is believed that L.P. Todd converted the building into the Princess Theater in 1914. The silent movies were accompanied by live musicians.
For the next fifty-six years, the Princess continued to operate as a motion picture theater. J. H. Eddy purchased and operated the theater from 1937 to 1977. In 1937, at a cost of over $10,000 the Eddy family completed major renovations including a new stucco and brick front with a modern marquee. Above the entrance was the word "Princess" in blue, red and green neon lettering. Inside were 400 new leather upholstered opera chairs and a new cooling system. Thomas and Charlene Green owned and operated the theater from 1980 until its closing in June 1985.
In 2003, Paul Ramsey, on behalf of Ramsey Farm Foundation, purchased the property and donated it to the Princess Theater Troupe, a group of local volunteers, for the purpose of restoration and reopening as a movie and live stage theater.
Paul's son, M. Paul Ramsey, a prominent Los Angeles, California architect, designed the plans for the exterior restoration. Many volunteer hours, a Vision Iowa grant and generous community giving matched by the Dekko Foundation, raised over $350,000 for the project. The restoration was begun by Larry Lamb
The original Board of Directors of the Princess Theater Troupe included: Karen Bender, Marla Crawford, Judy Cunning, Mary Ellen Devereux Taylor, Jodi Haley, Sandy Lamb, Martha Landphair, Jane Lawhead, Kim Nieman, Pam Poore, Michell Ricker, Lynn Rinehart, Vicki Sickels, and Chuck Wieman.
Location. 40° 42.824′ N, 94° 14.263′ W. Marker is in Mount Ayr, Iowa, in Ringgold County. Marker is at the intersection of Monroe Street and Taylor Street, on the left when traveling west on Monroe Street. Touch for map. Theater is on the courthouse square. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 West Monroe Street, Mount Ayr IA 50854, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 2 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Civil War Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); War Memorial (approx. half a mile away).
Also see . . . The Princess Reclaimed! (Theater History). (Submitted on August 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 131 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on August 6, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.