NICOLE HASEK, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
CORRECTION: The Waverly Palace Theater is set to begin construction in July. There currently is not a set date for when construction will be completed or when the theater will reopen.
Entertainment ToKnight, used to hold $1 movie nights for students to enjoy movies at the Waverly Palace Theater.
These stopped when the theater closed in 2018 due to a struggle to compete with popular streaming services, according to Travis Toliver, executive director of the Waverly Chamber of Commerce. Fortunately, the theater will be under construction to reopen in July.
“I grew up in Waverly and the theater was a big part of who Waverly was. It was hard for me to see it taken away,” Emily McCalla, a 2020 Wartburg graduate and past Entertainment ToKnight (ETK) marketing executive, said. “On top of that, the dollar movie nights were one of our most popular events that pulled a lot of different people in that didn’t normally go to our events.”
According to McCalla, these events helped students go outside Wartburg explore the community and support local businesses.
“It was something that we were really hoping to get back ,but sadly the theater didn’t come back. Hopefully sometime in the future we can create that relationship again,” McCalla said.
Once the theater closed, ETK adapted and started hosting events only on campus.
These events have been successful, according to Rachel Green, second-year journalism major and ETK president. This success comes from the variety of spaces on campus to hold events, how accessible they are to students and the team’s excitement to provide fun events. Even with COVID-19, 13 safe and distanced events have still taken place this year.
Even with the success of on-campus events, the re-opening of the Waverly Palace Theater may bring back old traditions and offer a space for new events.
“ETK is open to exploring more opportunities for community partnership if Wartburg students would like those types of events. This includes the movie theater opening again,” Green said.
The current theater owner is dedicated to reopening, but with a few new twists, Toliver said.
“These new changes include updated seating and projection, food and beverage service and new apartments above the theater. This has been the plan since the theater closed, since the owner wanted to preserve the building to eventually reopen,” Toliver said.
“It will offer Waverly residents, college students and the surrounding area a place to see movies on the big screen again without having to make the trip down to Cedar Falls or Waterloo,” said Toliver.
More information on ETK events can be found on the ETK social media pages.