Des Moines’ Varsity Theater Closes Sunday after 80 Years

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The legacy of the Varsity Theater ends Sunday, after 80 years in business.

The single screen theater will host its last showings ever, Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. The Varsity opened in 1938 in the Drake Neighborhood, priding itself on cheap concessions and movies that made you think.

Denise Mahon, took over ownership of the theater in 2009 after her father passed away. Now, Mahon says it's time to retire and to focus on her family and health. She says several potential buyers have shown interest in purchasing the theater but she has not sold it to anyone yet.

"We’ll find a buyer that is right. I'd like to see it continue as a theater and we’ll just take our time and find someone that wants to continue what we've done," Mahon says.

Mahon tells Channel 13 she plans to give a little "surprise" to patrons ahead of Sunday's 1:30 p.m. showing.


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