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Before it was remodeled in 1933, the lobby fronted on Hennepin Avenue. Later, during Ted Mann’s tenure, the balcony was remodeled into his offices and screening room, with an entrance on 7th. Street.
I managed the Orpheum Theatre at 910 Hennepin Avenue in the 1970’s. This is the second Orpheum theatre and, according to the blueprints, was built as the Junior Orpheum to the original theatre two blocks away, even though the surviving theatre is nearly 700 seats larger. I also have original blueprints of the main floor. It was originally designed, and was built as it now stands. The 9th Street vestibule was always meant to be for exiting only, it was never intended to be an entrance.
I was manager of the Varsity and the Campus theatres during the 1970’s, a great time to work in that area. I still have the original blueprints from 1915 and the remodeling prints from 1939. In the early 1970’s, General Cinema remodeled it to their company style
Brookdale East opened in 1972 as a triplex seating 720 in Cinema I (with a GCC shadow box encase screen) and 386 in CinemasII & III. I believe that Cinema I was split into two theatres in 1978 or 1979. I always liked the design of this theatre, even with the painted concrete block. The layout was very efficient and the lobby attractive. In the evening, the lobby seemed to glow and welcome the theatre patrons.