The Iris Theatre was built in the 1940’s by W. L. Dunn as a birthday present for his wife, Iris. Due to a decline in attendance, the theatre closed in the 1950’s for several years.
In March of 1971, Jack and Grace Motzing bought and re-opened the Iris Theatre as a service to the community. This was to be a “family-friendly” theatre that would focus on ministry rather than making money. As a result, more than 5,000 people became Christians over the last 43 years.
In November 2013, Jack and Grace, both in their 80’s, decided to sell the Iris Theatre and fully retire. The Cochranton Area Redevelopment Effort (CARE) Committe expressed interest in buying the theatre, but when plans fell through, Jack and Grace sold the theatre to the Cochranton Community Church. Pastor Steve Clulow felt the Lord was leading the church to purchase the Iris Theatre and use it as a community ministry.
Funds were raised and renovations began. The name was changed to The Motzing Center, in honor of Jack and Grace Motzing and their lifelong faithful ministry. Three years later, in November 2016, The Motzing Center was revealed, housing The Iris Theatre and Kovfino, a coffee lounge.
Jack has since gone on to be with the Lord. Grace is still active, helping out regularly at the Motzing Center. The Motzing Center provides service to the community through its volunteers. The Motzing Center is a Not For Profit organization.
Check out the renovation photos on our Facebook page.