Washington's State Theatre

99 Counties | FIND Iowa
Mar 5, 2024 | 02:32

How do you think technology has changed the ways that people are entertained?

The State Theatre is the world's oldest continually operating movie theater. Since being invented, movies have become an important part of entertainment for people all over the world.


Abby Brown:

Before cell phones, before tablets, before video games, and even before TV, the only place to find a screen to watch was at your local movie theater.

This is the State Theatre in Washington, Iowa. A quick look outside and you might think this is any old, regular cinema. But this theater is famous; let's take a look. The State Theatre is the world's oldest continuously operating cinema theater. You know what that means, it's a Guinness World Record! It even showed the first moving picture back in 1896. Wow! Back then it was called The Graham Opera House and stage performances were done here too. Over the years, as movies became more and more popular, it was renamed to the State Theatre, and was the place to see a movie. Inside, it's fun to imagine the excitement and anticipation people would have felt while they were waiting, without scrolling, for the moving picture to start. This is my favorite part, when the curtain goes up we know the show is about to begin. New movies are shown here now, just like the ones you go to see with your family and friends at the movie theater in your town. But the moviegoers who come here today are sitting in the same place that people have sat and watched movies well, since movies began. Technology has changed a lot. Today we can watch a movie on our tablet, in our homes on our big screen TVs, or even on our cell phones. But, being able to see and even go to a theater like this that has stood the test of time for so long can give us a good idea of what life was like a long time ago.

Every county in Iowa has a theatrical story to tell! Thanks for investigating Washington County with me.