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.