History

The Watts Theatre was opened in 1950 by the Jim Watts family, with a showing of “Dancing in the Dark.” The 44 by 132 foot building was designed and built as a state-of-the-art theater and included 580 seats and living quarters upstairs for the Watts family.

In 1994 Paul and Gloria Bunge purchased the building (which had been closed and stripped of all its equipment and seating) and restored it to its previous glory, including new heating and air conditioning, new projection equipment and a new sound system. The Bunges widened the aisles, left more room between rows, and installed 364 new seats designed for the building.

On June 14, 1994, the theater was reopened, again showing “Dancing in the Dark.”

The Bunges sold the theatre in 1998 to Robert Williams and his adult children, Bethany Jablonski, Ryan Williams, and Steve Williams. The Williams family made several improvements to the theatre, including a new roof, a replacement neon system, equipment upgrades, and a complete refurbishing of the apartment (which is now used as a viewing room and party facility).

In October of 2006, the Williams family sold the theatre to Mark and Tracy Walk and their daughters, Allison and Stephany. The Walk family will continue the tradition of showing family movies in a hometown environment with the best popcorn in Iowa!