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I went to that theater many many times as a kid. When I was very little, I lived in a house near the railroad tracks north of the theater, across from, believe it or not, the feed and grain store. I have great memories of the place. I remember seeing some kind of Sinbad the sailor movie and being frightened when they encountered a cyclops (hey I was a kid). I think the last movie I saw there, when it was Studio 97 was a Russ Meyer film called “beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens”. I also remember Jimmy’s Lemon Tree and the delicious “Lemon Picker” burger. And yeah, the popcorn at Oxboro was the best movie theater popcorn I ever had.
I saw a lot of movies there. I remember seeing my first Bond movie there. I also saw the now banned “Song of the South” there. Too bad it’s banned. It was great movie. The last movie I remember seeing there was Star Trek/the Search for Spock. I hated it when they tore it down. Bloomington has no theaters anymore, and the Mann was the last.
ChevelleSSguy. The theater you’re referring to was the Mann Southtown. The mall was already there and had been long before the theater was. At the time the Best Buy property was a series of new and used car lots. The Mann Southtown had a terrific movie screen and great sound. I saw my first James Bond movie there.
I remember this theater quite well. I lived in the shadow of the Met Stadium in the sixties and could literally walk to the place. I would walk to Town and Country shopping center to the soda fountain at Atkinson’s Drug store, or for a pizza at Pizza Papa’s, or play piball at Stadium Bowl, which was just west of the theater. I used to ride my bike into the exit at night and watch the movies for free (until I got caught and thrown out). Later, when I had a car, it was a great place to take a date. We usually either went to the Bloomington Drive in, or to the Lucky Twin in Burnsville. Later on they build the Mann France Avenue Drive in, and that became the place of choice.
I remember Collins. He was a large man who seemed to like painting. I was caught cutting through the area where he stored his “Collin’s Shows” stuff, and brought to his house, which was situated at the edge of the trailer park. He was painting a landscape at the time. He really wasn’t a bad guy. He gave me what for, but he wasn’t overly rough about it.