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Des Moines’ nonprofit community art house cinema.

Operated by the 501(c)3 Des Moines Film, The Varsity is more than a movie theater.

Varsity Cinema Exterior Photo

The Varsity provides a home for the Des Moines film community — both film lovers and aspiring filmmakers — to connect face-to-face, highlight diverse voices and challenging topics, and provide a space for deeper engagement. Varsity Cinema also acts as an inclusive space that sparks discussion and meaningful dialogue — where the broader community can experience new, sometimes challenging, ideas on screen.

Our Mission
Des Moines Film is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to growing a vibrant local film culture and community.

Our Programming
We feature a variety of programming including prestige new releases, the best of art house & international, curated repertory series and classics, upscale genre and late-night movies, kids and family series, and much more.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Accessibility
We are committed to building a more equitable and inclusive community by supporting and growing a more diverse local film culture. We believe Des Moines Film can be a catalyst for personal growth and social change. We seek to expand perspectives by promoting diverse voices in filmmaking and broadening access across audiences while challenging stereotypes and biases through storytelling.

About Des Moines Film
Since 2015, Des Moines Film has produced a variety of unique film events, brought a diverse mix of films to Des Moines, offered educational opportunities, and financial support for local filmmakers. The Varsity Cinema is a signature project that allows Des Moines Film to provide year-round, arts-driven programming and education resources for the Des Moines community. Des Moines Film is the only nonprofit organization in Des Moines solely dedicated to the art of cinema.

Ben Godar, Executive Director
Michael Dunham-LaGree, Director of Operations
Regen Kuker, Assistant Director of Operations and Engagement
Jess Lieb, Administrative Assistant

Board of Directors
Katie Bryan
Laura Burkhalter
Dan Jansen
Debra Kurtz
Jon Petersen
Tim Reinders
Nick Renkoski
Fabiola Schirrmeister
Michael Wagler
Frank Vaia
Daniel Van Sant
Rachel Woodhouse

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