Hollywood in the Heartland
From silent films in the early 1900s to today, Iowa’s presence on the silver screen is notable. Discover how film studios brought the work of Iowa-born writers to theaters across the country. The writers included Keosaqua’s Phil Stong who wrote State Fair in 1932. It was made into films featuring the Iowa State Fair as its setting in 1933 and 1945.
Learn how Mason City’s Meredith Willson, the writer of The Music Man (1962), furthered Iowa’s reputation as a subject for films. See the drive-in movie area that presents props from Norman Lear’s Cold Turkey (1971). He made the film in Greenfield and Winterset. The final films featured in the exhibit are Field of Dreams (1989) and The Bridges of Madison County (1995).
Meet the Iowans who have achieved success on-screen and behind the scenes. You might even see Donna Reed’s Oscar.
Guests can also consider the beauty of theaters and the role of theaters in Iowa communities.
- Learn about African American filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s Iowa connection
- See a band uniform from The Music Man
- Sit in authentic 1950-era theater seats
- Enjoy film clips and commentary on how Hollywood has depicted Iowa