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Rapids Theatre Preservation Society Inc

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Rating: 5

The Rapids was probably a typical movie theater in a typical Midwestern small town. When I was growing up the cost for a movie was 20 cents until you turned 14 - or maybe 16, when you had to pay the adult fee of 60 cents. It was where all the teenagers sat in the balcony with their friends or dates, and was the main source of entertainment (besides the roller skating rink) in our small Iowa town. After the theater closed, the building was converted to a furniture store (many structural changes made, including leveling the sloped theater floor and removing all of the seats), and later a steakhouse type restaurant called "The Intermission," a very nice place to eat that included seating on the main floor with the original advertising "flats" hanging in front of the screen on the stage, as well as seating in the balcony where the sloped floor had been converted to level tiers where tables could be placed. Later it became home to a couple of other restaurants, with the last tenant virtually walking away and out of town, leaving all the dirty dishes behind! The roof was leaking, and many in town were in favor of tearing down the building, which had once held apartments on the second floor and a spectacular ballroom on the third. When it seemed to be doomed, an elderly woman who had spent almost her entire life in Rock Rapids, insisted that it should not only be preserved, but restored. Fundraising has been ongoing, a few grants have been secured, and the county's casino has contributed, and very slowly bu surely, restoration has been happening. The woman who founded the Rapids Theatre Preservation Society, Inc, a non-profit, will celebrate her 90th birthday in early 2019, and her fondest wish is to see the Theatre once again hosting all kinds of events while she is still alive. You can help a small community thrive and make a wonderful and talented woman very happy by giving a tax-exempt donation toward their efforts!