The Iowa Theater Is OPEN!

Ta-da! Photo: Rebecca Fons.
Ta-da! Photo: Rebecca Fons.


I’ve been pourin’ wine and stackin’ chairs. I’m wiped. I’m also happier than anyone in Madison County tonight. Well, except for countless people in my hometown and environs who are thrilled have a movie theater in their hometown again.

To those people: Thank you. Thank you for buying a ticket for the screenings/gala tonight. Thank you for giving to the Kickstarter campaign, Thank you to the businesses, the clubs, the associations. Thank you to the crew. The staff. The cheerleaders. Thank you Mark, my stepdad; to Jack, my brother-in-law. You all/we all, have a part of this thing. How I feel, the fullness of tonight, it isn’t my joy. The reopening of The Iowa and the excitement and glitz of tonight, it’s our thing. It’s our Winterset thing. Doesn’t it feel good to do something together?

My eyes are closing because it was a busy day full of tasks, and I did 50% of what Mom and Rebecca did, believe me. This is partly because they had more to do. It’s also because part of my day was taken up with eating a good deal of the local, organic, fully-buttered, Iowa Theater-popped popcorn we serve at The Iowa. Let me tell you something: There’s nothing quite like watching a batch of fresh, Iowa-sourced popcorn burst out of the movie theater popcorn maker in your family’s own movie theater. It doesn’t get much better than that — until, of course, you butter that popcorn yourself, using the popcorn butter thing, which runs on a sensor, and that is rad.

But it gets really good when you get to cram your paw down into a paper bucket (filled by your other sister) and then you get to cram that mitt full of popcorn into your mouth while your sisters make you laugh and your Mom takes your picture. Did I mention there were Junior Mints in the bucket? There are Junior Mints in the bucket and they are melty in the popcorn and you have your mouth full and the whole theater smells so good because everyone in your family smells amazing. It’s perfume and deodorant and shampoo. Who knows what it is. You smell good. It’s something you can count on, weirdly.

What I’m trying to say is that everything is perfect. Life is full of terrifying things. But sometimes, you get to stick a mitt into a bucket of popcorn and it’s really, really special popcorn.

Life isn’t always so terrifying.

14 Responses

  1. Patty J
    | Reply

    How wonderful!! This made me smile this morning!! I love the fact that your family cared enough to do something! We need more caring people in the world today! Enjoy a bucket of popcorn for me Mary!!

  2. Dayna Williamson
    | Reply

    congratulations! Hope it stays open for many years to come. I love when buildings are brought back to life. Thank you to all involved.

  3. Gina
    | Reply

    I am so happy that you feel so much better than a you could participate and enjoy this event…..where is the theater in Iowa? Near what ‘BIG” city?

    • Kathi Bryan
      | Reply

      Winterset, birthplace of John Wayne and center of the Bridges of Madison County (you know, the movie).

  4. Linda
    | Reply

    Mary… wine pourer and popcorn eating butter machine user you!! I was SO happy to see you last night at the Grand Re-Opening of The Iowa!! Super happy to know that you’re feeling better! A lot of us have been worried about you.
    Continued prayers for good health…..❤❤
    Linda the Bag Lady

  5. Congratulations to all!!

    Thank you for sharing your fullness with us. It is a wonderful reminder that “life isn’t always so terrifying.”

  6. Jennifer Moore
    | Reply

    Sounds like such an amazing night!!! Thrilled that your family has been so involved in the community and bringing back a little piece of history!

  7. Ann
    | Reply

    It was a fun, fun, night being part of the gala festivities. Great to see you and meet all of your family. Have a great rest of your trip.

  8. Wendy T
    | Reply

    Just read about Winterset in the latest issue of Quiltfolk. So happy for your Mom and Sister that the theater is now open for fun entertainment. What will your Mom tackle next?

  9. Jan C.
    | Reply

    I’m so delighted that you felt well and could attend. And you can eat popcorn! With butter! This is me . . .envious green. Hugs, from Sacramento.

  10. Brandy McClain Hallock
    | Reply

    Sounds perfectly amazing!

  11. […] Okay, last question for Mom and Rebecca. I said the other night that the party was a smash. Truly a night to remember. Mom, what was your favorite moment of the […]

  12. Pam Williams
    | Reply

    Omg. Real popcorn freshly popped!!
    Flashback to the past. Now the
    Popcorn is brought into thr movie
    Theaters in Memphis in plastic
    Bags. Sad…… Bless our hearts….

  13. […] few months back, my sister Rebecca told me she had looked up something in the online archives of The Madisonian, our […]

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