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Marshalltown public schools to buy Orpheum Theater for $1

September 8, 2021 GMT

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — Marshalltown Community Schools will become the new owners of the city’s historic Orpheum Theater for the basement-bargain price of $1.

The district’s school board on Tuesday unanimously approved a letter of intent to buy the theater on Main Street, the Times-Republican reported. The school district will pay the current owners, Iowa Valley Community College District, $1 for the building at closing. The closing date has been set for June 16 or sooner.

The school board also approved a $20,000 purchase of a parking lot immediately east of the theater.

The Orpheum closed last year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor Kristie Fisher said her school views the sale as more of a transfer of property from one school to another, and she’s proud the theater will remain an educational facility.

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“We knew it was a great community asset and so important to the greater Marshall County community that we wanted to make sure we were maximizing it,” Fisher said.

Fisher said that while the $1 sale doesn’t appear to be a money-maker for the community college district, it will save the institution the costs of operating the theater, which will free up funds for other priorities.

Built in 1948, the Orpheum Theater has been a part of Marshalltown’s downtown area for more than 125 years.