The grand opening of the theater was in January 1918. There had been a contest to name it. The winner's name has not been found (yet) but the name given the theater was Hillman's Ideal. Hillman was actually a touring company that came to Table Rock, so perhaps there was no winner but rather the name was given to the new owner.
the projection booth
HISTORY OF THE BUILDING
the building of the lincoln hotel "block"
the "new" theater -hillman's ideal theater-1918
The opening of the beautiful new theater was announced in the January 4, 1918 edition of the Argus.
world war i
America entered the war on April 6, 1917 -- within days of when construction of the hotel block buildings began. This event appears to have been on the one-year anniversary.
A reference to the 89th Division, 355th Infantry, is called for. As described by James Olson in his book "The History of Nebraska," the 355th Infantry was a significant unit; in France during World War I, the 355th was known as "Nebraska's Own." The 89th Division, most assigned to the 355th, was known as the "Fighting Farmers" and respected for their ability to do with the physical hardships of the war as well as their courage. Table Rock residents including Harry Madden and Bill Vondrasek both belonged to the 89th Division and were assigned to the 355th Infantry.
fire in the theater - february 28, 1930
The front-page article about a fire in the theater is excerpted below this.
Here is the front-page article excerpted. It is divided horizontally into three parts but must nevertheless be read in columns.
fire in the hotel spreads to the theater - 1931
theater to be managed by mrs. & mrs. george mason of tecumseh, to be run by mr. and mrs. lewis day, 1957
leak on east side of theater roof, 2019
Water damage on the east wall of the theater. In about 2016, the roof leaked but a temporary repair was made. In August 2019, the repairs failed and leaking resumed. With an extremely rainy season and hail and damage calling the only commercial roofer who would work on our buildings away temporarily, as of October 12, 2019, repairs have not yet been effected. The problem is that when the roof was installed, a seam ran down the middle of a trough area, and the seam in the bottom of the trough has split. The solution is to build a part roof on the east side of the theater roof to cover the trough area and permit proper run off.