DES MOINES – The Historic Varsity Cinema’s grand reopening is Thursday night. The cinema, which started in 1938, closed in 2018 and has since been fully renovated.

Des Moines Film is the nonprofit that spearheaded the renovations to the cinema.

Ben Godar, the Executive Director of Des Moines Film, said that the renovations were only made possible because of generous donations from the community.

“This is a place the community had been going for so many years and so from individuals we had more than 1,000 individuals contribute to this campaign from local, county, state, government, from corporate foundations, we found support in all of those corners and it was only because of all of that support that we were able to make this happen,” Godar said.

The renovations added a second smaller theater to the Varsity Cinema. This will allow for more selection and showings of movies.

The Varsity Cinema had smaller films and art films as part of its screening selection and Des Moines Film plans to keep the venue open for those films.

“We’re a film arts nonprofit, we’re an arts organization. So we have very intentional programming that says what can we bring to this community, what can bring that’s going to grow the film culture here. So yes, we’re looking at what is artistically significant, what are the voices that aren’t going to be seen in this community if we don’t bring that here what are some community partnerships that we can create there,” said Godar.

To find out what movies are showing at the Varsity Cinema and to get tickets, visit the theater’s website.