The Cinema Business in Jewell

     In April 1911, two local entrepreneurs named Miller and Letzenberger rented a building on Jewell’s Main Street, north of the M. J. Severson restaurant, and opened the Unique Theater.   In 1912, the name was changed to the Isis Theater.   In 1916, C. L. Allen sold the Isis Theatre George H. Peterson, the businessman who operated the Story City cinema called the Grand.

Published September 7, 1916 
in the Jewell Record
New Equipment at the I-sis

     Mr. George H. Peterson, the new owner of the I-sis theatre, is improving the equipment of the place a great deal, enabling him to give much better service for the patrons of this popular motion picture house.   He has bought a new machine which was installed and used for the first time last Saturday night.   Patrons inform us that with the new machine much better pictures are shown.   Another new piece of equipment that has been added is a fine electrical piano with full orchestra equipment, which was used Tuesday night for the first time.   With the new equipment and with the high class special features that Mr. Peterson is getting, I-sis patrons are speaking very highly of the class of entertainment being provided by the new manager.

     In 1917, the new operators changed the name to The Lyric Theater, and on January 1, 1917,
the theater showed its first movie, “The Girl He Couldn’t Buy.”

This next article was published January 4, 1917 in the Jewell Record

The Strand Theatre in Jewell

     In 1925, under the G. D. Maxons, the Lyric Theatre became The Strand Theatre.   During the silent movie era, an organist or piano player provided the sound.   As Maxon’s daughter, Phyllis Maxon Risetter, recalled: “I think the musician was a ‘small person,’ perhaps the sister of the little fellow around town we called ‘Shorty’.”     The Maxons operated a theater in Jewell for many years.   During the 1930s, Maxon’s daughter used a flashlight to usher people to a seat.   At some point Glenn Maxon remodeled the theater by moving the ticket booth to one side and the concessions to the other side.    Nicely refurbished during the remodel, it included space for an orchestra.    He even provided a ‘baby room’ for mothers with tiny ones if they needed a quiet space during the movie.   As late as the mid-60s, Maxon would knock on the apartment next door to let renters know when the movie was going to start so they could be certain to see the whole thing.

On the reverse of this Strand Theatre advertisement was a photo of the star seen below.

Click to enlarge

The Strand was located on the west side of Main Street.

There was an image of a star on the back side of each schedule of Movie Shows in Jewell's Strand Theatre.

The Strand Theater was closed in 1972 for lack of business.

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