Carl Fredrick Schwanebeck, age 83, passed away at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., on Wednesday evening Aug. 8, 2012.
Carl was born Aug. 29, 1928, in Fontanelle, Iowa, to Edward Ernest and Anna (Watkins) Schwanebeck. He was the second youngest of 13 brothers and sisters. His father passed away when he was seven.
Carl started in the theatre business in his youth in Fontanelle. After graduation from Fontanelle High School, Class of 1946, Carl served in the United States Navy from 1946 to 1948 were he was stationed in California. After his service Carl worked at the Grand Theatre in Perry, Iowa, where he met Ruth Palmer. Carl and Ruth were married two years later on Sept. 10, 1950. They lived in Perry and had three boys, Curt, Cris, and Cort.
The Schwanebeck family left Perry in 1957 and moved to Anamosa, Iowa. In 1960 Carl and family moved to Knoxville to manage the Grand and Marion Theatres, and Frontier Drive In Theatre. One of the first major tasks for Carl was to relocate the drive in theatre that was west of town to north of town because of the Red Rock Dam Project. As if Carl wasn’t busy enough with the two theatres two daughters were added to the Schwanebeck household, Caprice and Colette. Carl was also active and a former president of the National Association of Theatre Owners.
As with most businesses things change, the end of an era, the closing of the Hi Vue Drive In, but soon after that movies on video entered the picture. Carl was the first to put video tape rentals in a theatre lobby. The video business soon consumed Carl’s time and after the growth in video Carl moved the video business out of the theatre to other buildings in Knoxville.
In 2000 he sold the theatre and soon after left the video business to retire.