Faces: Hugh Jackman lends some star power to refurbished Iowa theater

  • Updated: September 22, 2013 - 7:57 PM
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Hugh Jackman posed with fans outside the refurbished Metropolitan Theater in Iowa Falls on Saturday night. The 114-year-old movie theater has reopened for business.

Photo: Dennis Magee • Waterloo Courier via Associated Press,

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– Actor Hugh Jackman didn’t just show up for Saturday night’s reopening of the historic Metropolitan Theater in Iowa Falls. He and his family spent much of the day in the small community. Jackman, his wife and children arrived in the afternoon and went fishing at a city park before taking in festivities at the 114-year-old refurbished movie theater.

Jackman later greeted hundreds of people outside the theater, which was showing two of his movies. He even sang briefly at a city park. About 300 seats were available inside the twin-screen theater. Tickets sold for $100 or through a raffle that raised money for a local hospital.

Jackman was invited to Iowa by John Whitesell, a retired attorney from Iowa Falls who bought and restored the theater. Whitesell’s son is Jackman’s agent. The Australian actor’s visit comes amid a promotional tour for his film, “Prisoners,” which was No. 1 at the box office this weekend.

Jackman said he was intrigued by the story of White­sell’s decision to rescue the theater from bankruptcy, and then spend $500,000 to renovate it. The theater, originally an opera house, is listed on the National ­Register of Historic Places.

Dessa continues tour despite robbery

The show must go on. That’s what Minneapolis singer Dessa said after her van was burglarized Friday evening while on tour with her band in New York. Computers, camera gear, set equipment and money were stolen while band members ate at a restaurant after their show in Buffalo. The van was also vandalized. The group has started an Indiegogo page to raise money to replace what was stolen, so the band can continue with its 22-city indie tour. Many Twin Cities music groups have taken to Twitter to ask for help for Dessa and her band. “Did we want to cancel the rest of the tour? We didn’t,” Dessa wrote on the fundraising site. “We’ve decided to forge ahead without canceling any shows.” Dessa is the lone female member of the popular Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree. The songstress is currently promoting her new solo album, “Parts of Speech.”

Aimee Blanchette

 

My, oh Miley: Miley Cyrus was a favorite at the iHeartRadio music festival Saturday in Las Vegas. Before she hit the stage, the crowd chanted: “Miley! Miley! Miley!” Her emotional rendition of “Wrecking Ball” was her set’s highlight. The performance comes days after she announced she was no longer engaged to actor Liam Hemsworth. She thanked the audience for helping the song top the Billboard Hot 100 chart last week.

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