Thursday, February 16, 2006

Eastgate Slide

Not only is the original slide shot crooked--it's also terminally blurry (unless it was someone's bright idea to have a white drop shadow on white type!) This gloriously unretouched slide trumpets "Iowa's only twin theatre", the Eastgate Cinema I & II, now closed along with its sister theatre, the Cinema III.

I don't have the dates on when this duplex opened and closed, as it was still operating when I left Des Moines in 1988. Can anybody help on this? Thanks in advance!


Janet - Painted Piglet, BikerChickNews said...

Seems to me that Cinema III was still operating as of last year (2005) as an adult theatre... it only closed because some developer wanted to make it look like he was making progress on re-vamping the whole Eastgate corner at NE 14th and Euclid, so he tore it down. The building's gone, as of... hmm, last fall maybe? Or even more recently. I'll verify that, but I'm pretty sure I remember driving by there one day recently and noticing that the theater was gone. -J.

Mark said...

Janet, is the building for the I and II still there?

I just read a note by Evil Sam on Cinematour that indeed it closed and was demolished this year. (

Oh boy, it will be an interesting challenge to get materials on Cinema III, the 1536, and the Mini-East!

Anonymous said...

Going to the Eastgate theater was the first time that I ever went to a movie theater--back in 1970. It was a documentary about cougars, as I recall.

Years later, I recall the Eastgate was where I watched Chariots of the Gods? which theorized that humans were descendents of aliens from outer space.

Julie said...

Now, I was pretty young when the Cinemas opened in either '66 or '67. I know it predated River Hills/Riviera, and may have slightly predated the Plaza, which I know for sure was '67.

Unknown said...

The Eastgate Cinema I and II was under construction by July 4, 1966, according to Boxoffice Magazine of that date. The twin theater and a steak house that was part of the same complex was to cost $350,000. One auditorium was to seat 308 and the other 462.

The operator of the theater was named Richard Davis. The building was designed by the architectural firm of Winkler-Gowery, and was being erected by Arthur H, Neumann and Bros., Inc., general contractors.

Jerry said...

I worked at the Riviera/River Hills Theater when I was 15. Then worked at the Eastgate Cinema all during high school. We're talking 75 thru 78. Dubinsky Brothers owned the Riviera River Hills at the time. (biggest memory there... EARTHQUAKE with SENSURROUND was showing while i worked there!)... Dick Davis owned the Eastgate Cinema (and I beleve he owned the Pioneer Drive-In too)... biggest memory there... too many to mention... but Smokey and the Bandit was amongst the biggest hits that showed there while i was there!