MALEK Theatre

November 1, 1945

Workers break ground and the building of the new theatre finally begins. Architects Wetherell and Harrison along with contractor Gus Kacharo, all out of Des Moines, were hired to build the new theatre.

Plans show the new building will be 58′ 8″ wide, 140′ long, and 30′ tall and be constructed of concrete blocks and steel walls. The outside will be finished with stone and structural glass on the front. The galvanized steel roof will sit on a steel I-Beam trussed roof clad. This 8,400-square-foot building was built and designed with safety in mind and was considered to be fireproof.

Within the auditorium, you would find stadium seating with a balcony with over 800 seats. The walls would be solid acoustic concrete blocks, interwoven with the outside blocks. This would create an exceptionally strong structure and curve inwards towards the stage which would produce an amplifying effect within the auditorium.

The front facade would feature a stepped tower of glass blocks, Lannon stone, Glastone panels, and white metal trim. Glass blocks would fill the central section of the main tower and curve outward. This would be surrounded by several sections of large beige masonry tiles known as Glastone. The outermost area of the facade would be Lannon stone, one of the hardest most versatile structural limestones. A permanent steel marquee would be full of dozens of neon lights and space for changeable displays for the current and future attractions. Under the marquee would be five entrance doors into the lobby. The north side of the entrance doors would house a display window for the current attraction. South of the doors you would find the box office as well as two more display windows. The main box office window would face the street but also have a window inside the lobby for inclement weather.

The below home video of the construction process recorded by Bob Malek was graciously provided to us by Dorothy Malek.