Behind the screen at the Dundee Theatre is a stage, dressing rooms, and the original gold curtains that once hung to the sides of live vaudeville acts who the theatre was originally built for in 1925. But during the depression of the 1930′s it, like many stage theaters, was converted into a movie house for cost reasons.
In 1958 the theatre was acquired by Cooper Theatres (owners of the Indian Hills). Under the ownership of Cooper the Dundee played art and foreign cinema until 1965 when it ran “The Sound of Music” for 118 weeks, at the time it was second only to a theater in London for the longest first run of a film (Omaha World-Herald article: “Longest Film Run in Omaha“). In the early 1970′s the theatre began to run art films again, Ingmar Bergman’s “Cries and Whispers”, Federico Fellini’s “Amarcord” and many others played at the Dundee originally.
In 1974 Cooper got out of the theater business and sold the Dundee to two Omaha men who planned to run family films (Omaha World-Herald article: “2 Omahans Buy Dundee Theatre“), vowing not to “run the kind of shows they’ve been running” they echoed the popular misconception that the theatre ran soft-core pornography.
Eventually the theatre closed and in 1980 was purchased by the current owner, Denny Moran. Under his ownership the theatre underwent extensive renovations and for the past 27 years has been successfully operating as an art theatre.
The Dundee Theatre is Omaha’s last single screen theater and features one of the best sound systems in Omaha. Utilizing Dolby Digital EX technology and featuring three massive speakers behind the screen, two subwoofers on the ground, three speakers on each side wall and six more behind the audience, the sound quality and clarity is, at times, stunning.
We are open every day of the year, running art and independent films and on Friday and Saturday nights we feature our Midnights at Dundee series, showing classics to cult films and just about everything else in-between.