Theater History

The Hoyt Sherman Place Theater was originally built as a response to the growing membership of the Des Moines Women's Club. When the theater was completed in 1923, the Club boasted a membership of 1,400 women and the theater contained a seat for each member. The Des Moines Women's Club invited a variety of noteable speakers and performers to the theater over the years, including Helen Keller, Will Rogers, Amelia Earhart and Grant Wood. In 1995, due to increasing maintenance costs for the facility and decreasing membership, the Des Moines Women's Club turned Hoyt Sherman Place over to the newly formed Hoyt Sherman Place Foundation. The Foundation began raising funds for a large-scale theater restoration, which was completed in 2003, and restored the theater to its original luster while adding some important modern ammenities. Today, Hoyt Sherman Place is more active than ever hosting a variety of events for Des Moines' audiences to enjoy.