In 1913, the Windsor Theater was constructed at a cost of $37,000. It was an opera house for vaudeville acts and road shows. It was also used as a lodge by Windsor Lodge No. 71 of the Grand Lodge of Knights of Pythias (aka "The Windsor Company"). The Phoenix Hotel occupied the sight prior.
From 1917 to 1974, the Peterson family owned and managed the Windsor Theatre. Charles Peterson came to Hampton in 1917. Charles’ son, Walt, joined his father at the theatre in 1930, later to become a full partner in 1945. The business was sold to Hampton Amusement Corporation in 1974. Bob and Shirley Erickson purchased the equipment and facilities from Iowa United Theatres in 1977. Dick, Verla, and Mark Waugh purchased the building in 1977 and took over operation of the theatre in 1985. The Windsor Theatre ceased operations in May 1996.
In November 1996, a Hampton-Dumont High School class for youth leadership and community development, sponsored by ISU Extension and the Hampton Area Chamber of Commerce, proposed the idea of re-opening the Windsor Theatre. Twenty students and 13 adults met for two sessions. Through the efforts of the students and their fact-finding mission, a group of community leaders was assembled to look at the feasibility of re-opening the theatre.
The Windsor Theatre Development Corporation was incorporated under Chapter 504A of the Code of Iowa on August 5, 1998. This non-profit organization was made up of adults and students in the community interested in re-opening the theatre. A fund raising campaign was begun.
In December 1998, The Windsor Theatre Development Corporation purchased the building and inventory for $115,000. $138,000 of building improvements were added, including a new sound system, new platter and projection system, new screen, remodeled lobby and concession area, new handicapped accessible restrooms, new heating and cooling system, and new electrical wiring and breaker box.
On May 28, 1999, “Forces of Nature” starring Sandra Bullock, was the first movie shown in the newly remodeled Windsor Theatre.