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So streamlined and modern!
Wow, reminiscent of the Terrace in some ways (animals over the fireplace instead of a copper water fountain; low stone walls).
Did Jack Liebenberg design the remodel for talkies? What year?
Thanks, David. Anyone interested should also see the article “Terrace Theatre (Minnesota)” on Wikipedia and the Wiki article on “Liebenberg & Kaplan” (the architects of the Terrace)!
Does anyone know the original date of this photo?
Right, it opened 5/23/51 as “America’s Finest Theatre.” Not a hollow claim. I’ve made two videos about the last days of this unique (because of its stunning Midcentury Modern architecture) and irreplaceable (because it is now demolished) historic theater and its senseless destruction. You can watch them on YouTube from this link.
For more information, also see http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4002
Yes, the fight is over. The Terrace never got its day in court. The Robbinsdale City Council approved demolition in July 2016 at the request of a developer to make way for a Hy-Vee grocery store, a convenience store, a coffee shop, and gas pumps. On September 22, 2016, a citizens group, Friends of the Terrace, filed a lawsuit under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act, a 1971 law that protects the state’s natural and historic resources. A hearing was scheduled for October 10, 2016. The group asked for a temporary restraining order (TOR) on demolition until the case could be heard, but a judge denied that request on September 20.
The developer obtained a demolition permit from the city late in the day on Friday, September 23, and on Saturday morning, September 24, brought in heavy equipment and assaulted the theater, smashing through the large slanted front glass panels (which had been boarded over) and ripping a hole in the bricks on the upper level. Members of the public and the media were on site. Many witnessed the developer removing the “sputnik” light fixtures, one of the last remaining treasures inside, and whisking them off to an unknown location. Demolition was temporarily halted by a judge who rushed to the scene, but the demolition crew then proceeded to rip up the parking lot and fill in the theater’s lobby with dirt and debris.
When the temporary stay expired on Monday, September 26, the judge who had originally denied the TOR extended the stay until September 30, but required Friends of the Terrace to post bonds of $6.3 million to indemnify the City of Robbinsdale and the out-of-state property owner in order for the suit to proceed, giving them just days to raise enough to post $6.3 million in bond money. This excessive amount was forty times more than ever required in a case like this, setting a precedent for future preservation cases.
Friends of the Terrace was unable to come up with the funds for the bonds by the deadline, and a crew began assembling a demolition crane that afternoon. B y noon on Saturday, October 1, demolition was in full swing, and as of this writing the theater is nothing but rubble.
There is outrage, anger, hurt—and resolve—among the stalwart Terrace Theatre supporters who worked diligently for more than two years to save and preserve the theater. The mayor and two city council members are up for reelection in November 2016 and it is expected they will lose their seats over the way they handled the Terrace. Sadly, it is now gone.
Hey people, don’t give up! A lawsuit was filed to halt the demolition. The judge is expected to rule soon. Official historic designation by the National Park Service is expected soon as well. Check out “Terrace Theatre (Minnesota)” on Wikipedia for current information. It may be a David and Goliath fight but we all know who won that one!