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Scotts Bluff, Nebraska

Midwest Theater

Historic View of Egyptian Theater

Midwest Theater
Historic View of Egyptian Theater
North Platte Valley Museum

Midwest Theater
J. Nabb, Nebraska DED

The Midwest Theater was constructed in 1946 in Scotts Bluff.  The new theater replaced the Egyptian Theater that dated from 1923, after it was destroyed by fire in 1945.  Since its construction, the Midwest Theater has served as an entertainment venue for the citizens of Scottsbluff and the surrounding region.  The theater closed on September 12, 1996, and the owning corporation donated the building and its fixtures to the Oregon Trail Community Foundation for use as a community performing arts and entertainment center. The theater is now operated by the Friends of the Midwest Theater.

The two-story, rectangular-shaped building is a showpiece of theatrical innovation. The theater is an excellent example of the Modernistic-style architecture found in 1940s motion picture theater design and exhibits an exceptionally high degree of exterior and interior integrity. The most impressive features on the front street facade of the building are the theater’s marquee and tower. The horizontal 50-foot by 3-foot illuminated marquee is positioned eight feet above the sidewalk surface. Above the marquee, a large aluminum canopy features three horizontal bands of neon lights. The most striking feature of the primary façade is a stainless steel and aluminum tower flanked by glazed masonry panels and extending 60 feet above the theater’s entrance.

The Modernistic style can also be found in the building’s interior design elements, which feature smooth lines, visually softened curved walls, and glowing indirect lighting. The lobby’s coffered ceilings are irregularly shaped, suggesting cloud formations or atmospheric details. Meanwhile, the theater’s auditorium is an aesthetic blend of light, color, and ornamentation. Historically speaking, the Midwest Theater hearkens back to a time when theaters existed exclusively in downtown districts and when attending a motion picture was truly an event.

Plan your visit

The Midwest Theater is located at 1707 Broadway in Scottsbluff, NE. The restored theater offers a wide variety of entertainment, including film, music, dance, and theater. The theater hosts a film festival in October in even-numbered years. Visit the Midwest Theater website for more information or call 308-632-4311 for shows and times.

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