The theatre opened for business on December 18, 1913, with the melodrama stage play "The Two Orphans", complete with an orchestra. The Story Theatre/Grand Opera House has had only 14 owners in its long history, from initial owner Iver Egenes to Lewis and Mae Peterson and sons, Richard and Virgil, who operated the theatre for nearly 40 years from 1947 to 1984.
In January of 1980, the hotel and theatre block was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Story Theatre/Grand Opera House is the oldest continually running theatre in Iowa. It celebrated it's 100th anniversary in 2013.