We are in need of volunteers. The Lund Theatre is a non-profit organization managed by a volunteer board of directors and operated by volunteers. In order to keep the theatre open we need volunteers. If you or your group can help us out please sign up on our volunteer calendar.
Your help is greatly appreciated.Volunteer here
Located within the business section of Viborg, South Dakota and showing movies for over 107 years!
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights at 7:30 pm.
Ticket Prices Adults $5 (ages 19 to 59) - Seniors $4 (Ages 60 and up) - Juniors $3 (Ages 13 to 18) - Kids $2 (12 & under)
Gift Certificates are available at the theatre box office on movie nights or at Dakota Ace Hardware in Viborg.
Please reserve your preferred volunteer dates on our shared calendar. Volunteers are needed from 6:45 pm to 10 pm on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights,
If you are a new volunteer, we will provide training on your first night. Please indicate if you're new when selecting a volunteer date on the calendar.
If you volunteered and can't make it, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to stop by our concession stand in the lobby to get some tasty refreshments for the movie and take a look at history here.
The name and location of the movie theater in Viborg may have changed over the years, Wild West Theater, Dream Theater, Glud Theater, Lund Theater, but it has always been a place of entertainment in the lives of many generations of Viborg area young and old. There may have been previous attempts at showing some type of moving picture show within various Viborg organizations to their own membership, but the very first mention found so far of an advertised public presentation of a motion picture in our fair city occurred on Saturday evening, August 19, 1911, with the showing by a traveling motion picture company operated by a Mr. McKinzie of a documentary-type silent film entitled “The Slums of New York” presented in the meeting hall of the Danish Brotherhood Society that was located where the Wells Fargo Bank building now stands.
In March of 1913, the Wild West Theater moved out of the MWA Hall and established itself in a building of its own after a new floor is installed. That location was a narrow wood frame two story building that stood at the southwest corner of the intersection of Main Street and Blaine Avenue where today Mick’s Station is located, right next door to where the theater would be located permanently in less that three years. The Enterprise editor John Widlon has been joined by Viborg druggist Clyde A. Keller, as co-owners of the business and move tickets are always available in advance at Keller Drug Store. Widlon and his employee John Hojem are the managers and bookers for the theater until Hojem is called to serve his country during World War I. The name is changed from Wild West Theater to Dream Theater in Mid-March of 1915. But this would be a short business venture of only about two and a half years.
Construction on the present theater building began in May of 1915 by brothers Niels Anton Jorgensen and Charles Jorgensen Glood and the finished product was ready for its film debut by October of that year. The brothers hired John Widlon to continue managing the theater and kept the name Dream Theater for their new business venture. The brothers dissolved their partnership on January 5, 1922, and N. A. Jorgensen released Widlon from his management lease and took over the management and ownership of the theater. The Dream Theater remained with that moniker until Jorgensen renamed it the Glud Theater during the first week of April of 1925. The name and its Danish spelling referred to the place he and other members of his family had immigrated from in Denmark.
During the teen years and through most of the 1920’s, silent films would be accompanied by a piano and sometimes by a two to four piece orchestra including two violins that occupied a small orchestra pit below the stage area. During the times when there would not be someone available to play the piano during a movie, a player piano would continuously play the same piano roll over and over. The music played generally had nothing to do with whatever was happening on film.
Rumors from the earliest days of the theater building suggest that there may have been a “Speak-Easy”, a place that served alcoholic beverages during the days of Prohibition, in the rear of the Dream / Glud Theater in a small room within a larger room that was located behind the screen and back to the alley. Access could be gained from a doorway behind a curtain on the south side of the stage or from the alley behind the theater building. The larger room was used by visiting live performers as a makeup and dressing room, props storage area or a waiting area for performers and actors not on stage at a particular time.
Jorgensen sold the building and business in mid-September of 1928 to a young Viborg businessman by the name of Eskild Lund, another Danish immigrant. He also bought the adjoining building to the north that had been the second location of the Wild West Theater and the first location the Dream Theater. The first movie to play under Eskild’s ownership was a silent film titled “Anybody Here Seen Kelley” on September 19, 1928. Eskild and his brother Arne operated the theater and continually updated its equipment as sound motion picture technology was developed perfected and came into prominence.
Eskild and Magda Lauritsen Lund, whom he married in 1929, experienced some lean years with the theater in the early 1930’s but business picked up in the 1940’s when line of movie goers waiting to get in for weekend showings would often stretch out of the open theater doors and down the block south, especially for musicals.
Eskild and Magda did not change the name from Glud Theater to Lund Theater until doing extensive remodeling to both the inside and outside of the building in 1950 when they added the current marquee, several display cases for currently showing and coming attraction posters both inside and outside, the present ticket booth, the lobby and sitting area, restrooms, office and storage area.
Eskild celebrated his 50th year in the theater business on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, September 19th and 20th of 1978 with free showings of the “That’s Entertainment, Part Two.” Eskild died in 1982 while the theater was undergoing renovations following a fire that did considerable damage to the structure on May 21, 1982. Magda reopened the restored theater a month later on June 24th with the classic modern drama “On Golden Pond.” She sold the building and business to the present owners, Kenny and Sue Kessler, in February of 1983. They chose to honor the place that the Lund family has in the history of Viborg by retaining the Lund name for the theater.
For several years, the policy has been to show one major film each week on four nights, Friday, Saturday6, Sunday and the following Wednesday. Kenny and Sue often get first run films on the same day that they are released nationally and sometimes they must wait for a prominent film to have run its course in the theaters of major cities. The admission prices are more than reasonable and the concession stand prices better fit the pocketbooks of average Americans as compared to the prices in large mega screen theater structures in larger cities.
In recent years the Kessler’s have returned the theater building to the glory days of its youth by hosting live on stage musical entertainment.
View a list of past movie showings at The Lund Theatre: