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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald and Paul Hemmer
Illustration by Norman Zepeski
STRAND THEATER. Originally the MAIN STREET BAPTIST CHURCH, the building at 1198 Main was converted into a theater in 1919. The State became one of the Bradley Theaters along with the GRAND THEATRE, STATE THEATRE and AVON THEATER. (1)

In the spring of 1953, two models were brought to Dubuque from Des Moines to demonstrate the special Polaroid three-dimensional glasses needed to watch 3-D movies at the Strand beginning the week of April 5th. (2)

In 1972 Bradley Theatres sold the Grand and Strand to Richard L. Davis. Davis had managed the DUBUQUE DRIVE-IN from 1950 to 1955 and at the time of the Dubuque purchase owned the Pioneer Drive-In and Cinema I and II in Des Moines. He had constructed seven first-run theaters in Des Moines and had brought the first cinerama theater to the state. (3)

Dubinsky Brothers of Chicago took over the ownership in 1976.

In August 1980, fire gutted the building, leading the owners to attempt on several occasions to sell the building. They applied for a demolition permit in 1983. In 1986 the Dubinsky Brothers sold the property to Mr. and Mrs. Jon Kreiss of Galena and Mrs. Kreiss' mother, Millie Boge of Dubuque.

In 1987 the new owners planned to convert the building into the Paramount Club, a nightclub complete with live bands playing hit tunes from the 1950s to the 1980s. Financing for the $500,000 project collapsed, and the owners approached ST. LUKE'S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH about accepting the property as a gift. The church board voted to turn the land into a parking lot. However, a demolition permit was withheld by the city council for a period of up to ninety days to assess whether the structure had architectural significance or historical importance. Demolition of the building took place during December 1989 and January 1990.



1. Chalmers, Diane, e-mail, March 26, 2019

1. Day, Mike (editor), The '50s: Vol. 1: 1950-1954, Dubuque: Woodward Communications, 2015, p. 70

2. Tighe, Mike. "Strand, Grand Theaters Won't Switch to Triple-X," Dubuque Telegraph Herald, August 6, 1972, p. 1A