Aita Iowa! Name? Founder’s daughter, minus a vowel. Two thousand souls. Its motto: Feel the Energy. Reputation, according to its website: “quickly becoming known as a bedroom community for Storm Lake." That's where Buddy Holly and the Bopper and Valens bought it.



It’s like a hastily-improvised prosthetic limb:

ROXY: Cinema Treasures doesn’t have much to say, but a few photos of the building on the right don’t answer the question about rehab vs. new construction. But it was a Gamble’s, once.

Diagonal wood vs. clone-tool pressed-tin facade, and hooo boy

I do hope it’s really twenty to two.

You can tell it’s a rehabbed old 20s bank, with a new addition, everything crisp and modern. A few old farmers shook their heads in dismay; they just didn’t see the appeal.


How do you let people know that the Temple only occupies part of the building?

And why would you want to?

Long gone.

Note the planter: that’s the ubiquitous pebble-aggregate model you could all over once upon a time. I can’t tell you if they started popping up in the 60s or 80s or whether they just always existed after 1965, willed into being by the imagination of some bored god.

Big bro poses for a picture with his siblings, putting his arm around them in a gesture of love and protection.


All at once, or not?

I think it was built in two stages, because there are two entrances to upstairs, and of course the windows are maddeningly difficult.

An obit for the builder’s son - maybe - gives us some clues:

Art was born on June 29, 1915 in Alta, Iowa, the son of Gust & Jenny (Bengtsson) Ryden. He graduated from Alta High School in 1933. After graduation, he worked at his father’s clothing and dry cleaning business. He was employed by the Bank of Alta as a teller in the mid 1930’s and then in 1939 as a teller for the Bank of America in Gilroy, California.

Wonder what made him light out for Golden State.

The tallest building in town. The armory of the breadbasket. The elevator.

That must mean there’s train tracks around . . . ah, the station.


It has a cafe: the Crum-Brew-Le. Really.

Do you get the reference in the logo? Rather clever.

Look what they left behind:


It’s been a very long time since it went anywhere, and you wonder if it’ll just be there forever.

Hope so.