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Hamburg starting to rebuild Colonial Theater

Posted at 7:08 PM, Jul 25, 2019

HAMBURG, Iowa (KMTV) — In downtown Hamburg, numerous businesses suffered major damages from the flooding earlier this year. One of these businesses was the century-old Colonial Theater.

Known for its famous $2 movies from Friday through Sunday nights, the theatre suffered around $100,000 worth of damage from the flooding.

“This is the heart and soul, one of the oldest buildings here in town that's still up and going,” said Jodi Hendrickson, a board member for the theatre. The theatre has raised $20,000 for renovations, and is $5,000 away from its goal.

“It's not just a movie theatre," Hendrickson said. "This is the heart and soul of our main street and our community, it's been here since the early 1900's. It is a community gathering place and we want to keep that for generations to come,”

Outsiders may see Hamburg as a practical ghost town, but the town’s residents see it as the new normal.

“I don't even know what that is anymore,” Hendrickson said. “Most of us were barely recovered from 2011. After this and all of the housing we've lost this go around, I don't know that we'll have normalcy again. Once we get this back and opening and we get that draw to our Main Street that in of itself is one of the biggest hurdles to bringing life back in to the community,”

“I haven't gone to a movie all summer which sucked. It's nice to be able to go right here in town,” said Haylee Sloop, a resident who works in town at the drugstore.

With only two businesses open, the town sits in what seems to be almost complete silence. There is still hope Hamburg will be lively again soon.

“When you talk about ghost town it's not just on Main Street, it's the entire south end,” Hendrickson said. “At night there's no lights, nobody is home. That is sad but we have some activity up here and we're not ready to let it go.”

The theater is planning to reopen its doors to the public the night of Popcorn Day on September 7 this fall.