The Englert Civic Theatre

The Englert Civic Theatre Logo

Basic Information

Address: The Englert Theatre 221 East Washington Street Iowa City, IA 52240-3927
Phone Number: (319)688-2653
Fax Number: (319)688-3494
Director: Andre Perry

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The Englert Civic Theatre

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Additional Information

Causes Served: Performing arts venue, education, community enrichment,
Clearances Required: No
Background Check: No
Population Served: 125,558
Ages for Volunteer: 18+
Hours of Service: flexible
Days of Service: year round
Mission Statement:

The mission of The Englert Theatre is to own, maintain and operate The Englert Theatre as a community arts center and performance space, enhancing the vitality of Iowa City's historic downtown by preserving its last historic theater. The Englert Theatre will provide diverse programming, educational opportunities and exposure to the performers, artists and ensembles as well as hosting regional, national and international touring performances.

Philosophy/Belief Statement:

The Englert Theatre stands as a testament to all who believed in its recreation. The staff and board of directors strives to fulfill the promise of the renovation project by creating a historic home for the arts in the heart of downtown Iowa City.

Program History:

The Englert Theatre opened on September 26, 1912. The Englert family played an important role in re-developing part of downtown, as the theatre replaced a livery stable. Vaudeville touring acts performing acts performed at the Englert where townspeople and students filled is 1071 seats. In addition to live stage acts three-reel-films were shown at the theatre. The Englert Family lived on the second floor of the third floor provided rooms for performers. On February 13, 1926 a massive fire almost destroyed the building. Repairs cost more then twice it did to initially build the structure. The middle class was beginning to attend films, at this time, and the Englert was built with new interior that tapped into the prevailing tastes of the 1920s. In the 1970s and 80s the Englert was modernized with new carpeting, paneling, and acoustic ceilings.
In 1999 it was purchased by a bar owner who had plans to turn it into a nightclub. Not wanting to see the historic theatre disappear a group of concerned citizens persuaded the City of Iowa City to purchase the theatre and hold it in a trust until funds could be raised.
Hundreds of local businesses and individuals contributed their time and millions of dollars to bring the theatre back to life. On December 3, 2004 the theatre reopened for its first live performance in more than 60 years.