Cooper Theatre

5755 Wayzata Boulevard,
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

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Showing 51 - 66 of 66 comments

skytoes on April 22, 2006 at 7:22 pm

When I was a teenager I work as a gofer during the construction of the Cooper doing everything from installing the toilets in the projection booths to helping hang the vertical strips for the screen. I eventually spent my career as engineer in the motion picture industry.. The original screen was 105 feet along its 146 degree curve. The original three projector could run at either 24 fps or 26fps for earlier three strip Cinerama films. The screen was later reduced to 120 degrees (Todd-AO) to accommodate single projector Super Panavision. I do not believe that the Cooper could show 30fps Todd-AO films. However, the St Louis Park Cinerama Theater could show Todd-AO but not three strip Cinerama. The Cooper theaters were designed specifically for the presentation of three strip Cinerama movies. Unfortunately the deeply curved screen is a thing of the past. Too bad because it was better than Imax. I only know of two three strip Cinerama theaters that exist today. One is in Seattle and the other is the Cinerama Dome in Los Angles that was remodeled to present three strip Cinerama.

sloopydrew01 on April 19, 2006 at 10:46 pm

My memories for the Cooper pull my heartstrings more than any tearjerker projected onto its screens ever could. Hopefully they’ll somehow manage to save the Terrace. I hate seeing these cinemas of a bygone era demolished to put in a Starbuck’s, or some other modern disaster.

Anyone with any pictures and/or memories to share regarding the Terrace, the Cooper or any other great old theater in the Minneapolis area email me at We can keep the memories alive, even if we lost the theatres!

bvarani on October 3, 2005 at 5:36 am

The cages over the smoking areas housed the right and left surround speakers.

Coate on August 25, 2005 at 1:10 am

Wasn’t the largest screen in the Upper Mid-West the one at the France Ave. Drive-In?

sheepy on August 24, 2005 at 10:03 pm

The cages were smoking lounges.

budyboy on August 9, 2005 at 4:38 pm

I found somewhere else that the Cooper screen was 105 feet along the curve. Having seen a Super Panavision presentation of 2001 in the 1970’s, does anyone know what the actual presentation size of the movie was? It was a single projector presentation, ? Todd-AO projector. Just wondering if it was larger than anything the Mann Southtown presented when it was single screen; which at about the same time advertised itself as the largest screen in the upper midwest. maybe taller. thanks

Widge on May 16, 2005 at 4:16 pm

What I remember the most about this theater is the “go-go” cages they had in the back on either side of the theater. I always wondered what those were for. Anyone know?

jim on May 2, 2005 at 1:13 pm

To everyone who has posted a comment on this page:
I’m currently making a documentary about historic movie theatres and the people who save them from demolition (or in some cases, like the Cooper don’t succeed). Part of my documentary includes an interview with Richard Crowther, archetect of the Cooper design. I’m coming to Minneapolis to film for a weekend in June and would love to interview people who have fond memories of the Cooper. If you would like to be interviewed or need more information, please email me at:
I’d also love to see some pics of the construction of the Cooper theatre too.
Jim Fields
Writer/Director/Producer, “Preserve Me a Seat”

Jesse Hoheisel
Jesse Hoheisel on January 8, 2005 at 8:57 pm

The reason I ask is that I would like to devise a blueprint for the Cooper theaters so that I may guesstimate how much it would cost to rebuild one in this area. If anyone has any information I may use in this quest to reconstruct the Cooper in MN, please email

Jesse Hoheisel
Jesse Hoheisel on January 7, 2005 at 7:05 am

If ANYONE has pictures of the inside of the Cooper (or the outside, for that matter) that do not look like the ones above, PLEASE let me know at I am DAMN interested in anything Cooper related.

bvarani on December 21, 2004 at 1:06 pm

A flag ship that was left to deteriorate because the cheapskates in Chicago were more interested in dumping money into mall theaters. Where are all those mall theaters now? I also have a soft spot in my heart for the Cooper Theater. There was no better place to see a movie period. I worked there running movies between 1981 and 1988. I met my wife there (She was a candy girl) very sweet. :) I especially enjoyed the re-releases of the Hitchcok films as well as Oklahoma and Laurance Of Arabia. It’s just not the same seeing these classics on a TV screen. Star Trek 2 The Wrath Of Kahn in 70mm was way cool. (Sorry J Novak for rewinding the film backwards on you). The last I saw of the old palace was when my wife and I were driving by and we noticed a flood of water flowing from the Cameo side lobby through the box office and out the front doors. I guess the Cooper Theater was crying knowing that its days were numbered and the end of an era was near.


JoeMac on August 18, 2004 at 2:59 pm

I was in high school when my friend and I went to the Cooper Theatre. I remember seeing “Metropolis” and most of Woody Allen’s movies there. My favorite was “Radio Days.” I then moved to NYC to go to grad school and work from 1988-1997.

The Cooper Theatre like the Minnesota Twins/North Stars, The Heights/Apache Theatres, my family and friends holds a special place in my heart. I have nothing but great memories of that place. Sorry to see it go and that future generations are not able to enjoy it. In Greece they still have the Acropolis and we demolish buidlings that are younger than our grandparents.

If anyone has any postcards or photos, memorabilia of the Cooper Theatre, I would love to have anything from there. Thanks for taking the time to read this and to anyone who responds.

lucidus on March 23, 2004 at 12:59 pm

Wonderful theatre! I worked there back around 87-89. Not too long before it closed. I don’t know about the whole ‘haunted’ story. I heard a little about that while I was there. Prince used to come to the theatre all the time. He knew a good theatre when he saw one!

comet on October 19, 2002 at 9:25 am

I saw the restored version of Lawrence of Arabia here right before it closed. I also saw many other films. I was sorry to see it go. It was supposed to be haunted by a workman who died while they were building it.

Olif on September 3, 2002 at 1:52 am

I went to the Cooper in the mid 1980s. I was hoping that this theatre wouuld screen film in Cinerama, or in 70mm!! Perhaps this theatre will remain active again!!

JeffreyAbramson on October 25, 2001 at 11:18 am

I was here at the very last screening – DANCES WITH WOLVES. I was very sad to see it go. This theater is partially responsible for my love of movies that eventually got me into the business.