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City Scene

March 21, 2017
Brian Miller - Webster City City Councilman ,

A few weeks ago I was sitting at the Second Street Emporium and waiting for my order. (It was my night to cook!) A lady walked in looking for the party she was

meeting there. The hostess said, "Follow me, you're in the ISIS Room."The look on the guest's face was priceless! I had recently been unable to come up with a topic for my upcoming article so after some discussion with Sara, one of the staff at the Emporium, I decided to educate the public with my own little public service announcement. Thanks, Sara!

Right now, the majority of people hear the name ISIS and they associate it with the terrorist group and all of the negative news that comes with them. Here in Webster City it means something entirely different. If you have ever eaten at the Second Street Emporium, chances are you have seen or eaten in the ISIS banquet room, but may not know the history behind it. The ISIS Theater occupied the building from 1911 to 1953. By all accounts, it was a grand place with seating for up to 360, the latest in

projector technology, and a pipe organ orchestra instrument. This was an exciting place to be in Webster City. In the late 1920's a fire destroyed the ISIS Theater along with other downtown buildings. The theater was rebuilt with the latest technology; two projectors which meant no waiting for the reel to be changed. In the same grand style, it was known as one of the finest theaters in the state. The last movie shown at the ISIS Theater was in 1953. In the mid 1990's Scott and Candy Rector named the banquet room at Second Street Emporium after the former occupant, the beloved ISIS theater.

If you haven't had a chance, take some time to enjoy a meal at the Second Street Emporium and check out the numerous photos and historic items adorning the walls throughout the building. Thanks to Scott and Candy Rector for keeping ISIS Theater name alive. Thanks to this event and Sara, my goal is to continue to share Webster City's rich history through my articles, so if you're reading this and have a place you are curious about, contact me and I will try and use it for a future article.



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