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. Those efforts became public on May 5 when the Des Moines Landmark Review Board voted unanimously to recommend the theater be recognized as a local landmark.


Recognizing The Varsity’s importance as Des Moines’ last operating historic theater is an important step and happens simultaneously with our work to earn state historic tax credits for our project.


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.


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. If you wish to Donate Now to support our ongoing work and programming, you certainly can. The best way to stay informed about the ongoing progress with The Varsity Cinema is to signup for our newsletter.


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