Small Biz Friday: The Windsor Theatre

The Windsor Theatre in Hampton, Iowa is a non-profit organization.  It’s housed in a brick building that also includes four apartments, a basement where a portion is used by the Jaycees as a meeting hall and an office.  The building was constructed in 1917 and they are celebrating 100 years of being in business.

Back in 1996 the Windsor Theatre closed down.  In November 1996, a Hampton-Dumont High School class for youth leadership and community development, sponsored by ISU Extension and the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, proposed the idea of re-opening the Windsor Theatre. Twenty students and 13 adults met for two sessions. Through the efforts of the students and their fact-finding mission, a group of community leaders was assembled to look at the feasibility of re-opening the theatre.  Fund raising began and May 28, 1999 the newly remodeled Windsor Theatre was back in business!

This year the Windsor found out that they needed to upgrade to digital to the cost of $70,000.  Without this new equipment, the theatre would go dark. All in all, they set a goal of $120,000 so the stage could be upgraded, new curtains and some repair work started on.  We found out today that $82,000 has been raised and the digital equipment is ordered!

The Windsor shows first run movies starting on Friday and running through Thursday.  They are closed on Mondays, but often a company will rent the theatre or provide a movie showing for the public on Monday.  they also host live theatre twice a year provided by the Franklin County Arts Council and the Franklin County Players.

Tickets are $4 for adults (yes, you read that right) with many specials like $2 Tuesdays and Senior Citizen Sunday.  The picture above is Mel Mayberry, Wendy Busman and Jim Davies performing a skit in the Vaudeville Show.  There has also been the live debate between King and Vilsack this year, several different press conferences and some corporate sponsored fund raisers.

Welcome to Small Biz Friday – where we feature a small, local business doing things in a smalltown kind of way.  Don’t be thrown by the word smalltown – it simply means they’ve learned how to develop relationships with their customers, take good care of them and treat them like family — it’s what we do in small towns.

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