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Orpheum asks for an exchange of commitments

Bob UntiedtBy Bob Untiedt

Earlier this year, a senior manager at a large company, new to town, mentioned that he and his family came to a movie the Orpheum had offered for free to his child’s elementary school. He said that he was not looking forward to this very much, but his kid really wanted to go.

And then he said, “And it was a great time for our whole family.”

Folks who are from Marshalltown tell of coming to movies here as a kid. It was part of growing up here  – coming to the Orpheum for a movie. It still means something to them, in some cases decades after they’ve been here for any movie.

More currently, we have had experiences of very theatrical presentations of the Christmas Tree portion of Marshalltown’s Holiday Stroll; people remark about how the whole presentation really adds to the beauty of the event. Businesses and social clubs who meet here regularly tell Orpheum employees later that this space added a great dimension to their meeting. Blues fans rave about performances here, whether it’s our ‘Blues & BBQ’ event, or the nationally known blues artist, Ruthie Foster – they think about the Orpheum as a place that really has given them memories they’ll always cherish. They think of it as an important part of what makes Marshalltown home.

What is home? What does it mean to belong to a place? Well, of course, the center of what anyone calls ‘home’ is their family. And their friends, and their neighborhood. But an additional important element of this definition is that the most important part of what you call “home” are the best memories you have in a place. The Orpheum is part of what makes Marshalltown home to people.

Currently the Orpheum is undergoing extensive repairs caused by the July 19 tornado, but we are still offering movies at the elementary schools and co-sponsoring a variety of performances in the community. The Nov. 29 Irish Christmas in America concert at First Baptist Church promises to be yet another amazing and memorable event! Do you have your tickets?

At this point, it’s anticipated that we will reopen in late spring or early summer. You can be assured that you’ll hear about it via local media, social media and word of mouth! We are committed to restoring the Orpheum facilities and programs as quickly as possible.

In 2019, I ask you to commit to yourself, your family, and your friends to coming here … at least one more time than you did in 2018. The Orpheum helps businesses recruit and retain employees. The Orpheum helps other community groups – elementary schools and businesses, social service organizations, and our big community celebrations – deepen the connection with our town. The Orpheum is reshaping what a great summer in Marshalltown looks like, through its 10-week free Live After 5 concert series.

The Orpheum helps to make some of the best memories Marshalltown families will ever have. Watch for our events and come see us when we re-open!

Bob Untiedt is the Director of the Orpheum Theater Center, which is operated by Iowa Valley Community College District.

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