College planning for future of Orpheum Theater

The Iowa Valley Community College District is undergoing a strategic planning process to assist with the future of the Orpheum Theater, a facility which ran budget deficits of at least $200,000 for three straight recent years.

The college has hired Tom Westbrook from Drake University to assist with this process.

Westbrook gave an update to the Iowa Valley board on where they are at this week. Westbrook said in meeting with people who are part of the Orpheum leadership and volunteer group it was evident that the Orpheum is worth fighting for.

“There is a very large emotional connection with this community and this theater,” Westbrook said.

Westbrook said the overall feeling from people he has met with is that the Orpheum must have multiple revenue sources in order to stay vibrant.

“To be successful it must generate multiple revenue sources,” Westbrook said.

This planning process came up with several goals for the theater, aside from the main one of creating multiple revenue sources.

Other goals include looking for more grant opportunities, starting a fundraising campaign, being more present in the community and utilizing the Orpheum as an educational venue.

Westbrook said the renovated theater on Main Street also could use some upgrades as far as the movie screen and the sound system.

The strategic planning process will continue into the future as the college looks for the sustainability of the theater.

“We just simply can’t let it fail,” said Iowa Valley Board Member Larry Johnson.