Varsity Cinema

Courtesy RDG Planning & Design


For the last year-and-a-half, we have been hard at work behind the scenes to preserve The Varsity Theater and give it a new life as a modern cinema and film center.


For the next step, we will need you.


Later this summer, we plan to unveil more detail of our plans for The Varsity Cinema & Mahon Film Center: An independent, nonprofit cinema that will serve as a hub for film lovers and filmmakers in our city. Similar cinemas and film centers are thriving in cities all across the country. It’s time to fill this gap in Des Moines.


The Varsity Cinema and Mahon Film Center will:

  • Continue the first-run, art house and international programming of Varsity Theater
  • Add a 2nd screen microcinema to expand programming and reflect the diversity of Des Moines
  • Provide a community hub with expanded, accessible lobby and full bar
  • Establish a Film Center to provide education, connect filmmakers and film lovers


Later this year, we will be launching a public capital campaign and we will need the support of the Des Moines community to make this happen. But you can also Donate Now, and your early support will help us tremendously.



The best way to stay informed about the ongoing progress with The Varsity Cinema is to signup for our newsletter. You can also follow us @desmoinesfilm and @TheVarsityDSM on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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