Oster Regent Theatre

posted on Friday, June 14, 2013


The Cedar Valley possesses some of the richest heritage in Iowa when it comes to live theatre. A large part of that heritage is the Oster Regent Theatre, one of the oldest theatres in the state, and the Cedar Falls Community Theatre (CFCT). Together they produce some of the finest plays in the state.

Originally known as the Cotton Theatre, the Oster Regent Theatre was built in 1910 by Frank Cotton. Realizing a dream, Cotton built the theatrical performance hall on Main Street, bringing national traveling road shows here to put on their live performances. The national tours started to slack off and after changing hands a few times, the theatre became a movie theatre and the name was changed to the Regent Theatre in 1918.

Merle Blair bought the Regent in 1921 and the Blair family continued to own it until 1990 when they gifted it to the CFCT. The CFCT board of directors went through a two year fund raising process to restore the old theatre. Another two years of renovation followed. Then 26 years old CFCT, was then able to transition from part-time productions at Holmes Junior High to moving into their own building and producing five shows a year. Evening shows are at 7:30 pm, Sunday matinees at 2 pm. Here is their 2013/2014 season:

Oklahoma June 14,15,16; 21,22,23
Social Security July 26, 27; August 3,4
The Good Doctor October 4,5,6; 11,12,13
1940's Radio Hour December 6,7,8; 13,14,15
Clue February 14,15,16; 21,22,23

When not producing a play, the Oster Regent hosts a multitude of traveling productions, shows movies from yesteryear on the big screen. There are also rooms used and rented out for assorted events like parties, meetings, and other gatherings. For more information, visit their website at http://www.osterregent.org or call 277-5283. Tickets of Oklahoma are on sale now.

Vicki Bailey
Cedar Falls Tourism and Visitors Bureau

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