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Founded in 1839, seven years before the State of Iowa was established, Washington has a long and storied history—one that is always on display with its historic buildings and homes.
Want to see a movie in the exact location where patrons first saw moving pictures? Washington’s State Theater, formerly known as The Graham Opera House, has been in operation since May 14, 1897, and has been certified as the world’s oldest continuously operating cinema theatre, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The theater shows first-run movies in a historically preserved theater that offers all the modern conveniences such as digital projection, surround sound and new seats.
In addition to being the birthplace of cinema, there’s more to see and learn about local history from the Conger House Museum, the F Troop Military Museum, and we offer self-driving tours of historic homes and barn quilts. In fact, Washington is the official ‘Barn Quilt Capital of Iowa’ and our self-driving tour affords visitors an opportunity to see the countryside around our city while enjoying the lovely quilts painted on the large barns on well-kept farms.