Canby Theatre

109 Saint Olaf Avenue North,
Canby, MN 56220

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Canby Theatre

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The Canby Theatre is located in the downtown section of Canby. Built in 1937 and opening as the New Canby Theatre with 600 seats, the blond brick building not only houses the theatre but five retail spaces and five apartments on the second floor.

The originally single screen theatre had a second screen added around 1982. It remained in operation showing first-run films until closing in December 2012.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 46 comments)

flied001 on February 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm

barbv, I can confirm the old theater was called the Broadway; my Dad and his brother went to Canby in 1929 to take it over. Sound was installed shortly after that and Dad ran the projectors for many years. And my understanding is the lady who my uncle married in Canby played the theater piano. How did you come to have it?

barbv on February 19, 2014 at 8:11 pm

flied001, is this Willa Kay Flieder?. I am Barb the daughter of Vernon and Erdine Blaine. A year ago we put a new house across the driveway from mom’s old house on the same farm I was born on February 10, 1944. My mom always told me her piano was played in the first theater by her aunt or cousin.

flied001 on February 19, 2014 at 10:08 pm

Nope, not Willa; I’m Gene, son of Emil. Bill was her dad so we are cousins.

Vikeologist on February 22, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Would anyone be willing to donate to the renovation of the theater?

foxfamily on February 23, 2014 at 12:18 am

My family Fox was a long time resident of Canby, and George Fox owned and ran the Billard Hall just down the street. Grandfather Ben Fox ran his farm just outside of down but lived down off Olaf Street Why don’t you have special movie screenings of older movies that were shown there at the Canby, and have home made baked goods to sell for snacks to raise money to reopen the theater. Of course this would only supplement larger tax free donations. People who provide food can watch free. I used to pick and sell my grandfathers corn in my mothers 1920 wooden wagon, by going door to door to get money to see a movie there in the 50’s and have a coke at George’s Billard Hall. So going to this theater had specil meaning and hard work for a young Canby boy.

barbv on February 25, 2014 at 5:49 am

flied001 – thanks for your info. What was the name of the lady your uncle married who played the theater piano?

barbv on February 25, 2014 at 5:54 am

wkpledger – Hi Willa Kay, I remember your name so well but can’t remember if you were ahead or behind me in school, I graduated 1962. I didn’t know this site had been going for a few years as I just got internet almost a year ago. Did you read my comment to flied001 asking if that was you? and my other comments on the theater piano? Barbv

flied001 on February 25, 2014 at 6:39 pm

barbv – Uncle Bill married Edna Peterson; I think the year was 1937

Vikeologist on March 24, 2014 at 11:30 pm

The Canby Theater now has a Facebook page! It will have upcoming fundraising events and updates on the progress of the renovations!

barbv on September 8, 2014 at 11:46 pm

hi Willa Kay, this is Barb Blaine Vanstrom. I just typed you a long comment and am not computer savy so I pressed enter to send it instead of the below box that says add comment. We moved to mom and dad’s farm 3 years ago and mom always told me her piano which is still in her house was played by her cousin or aunt. we are having a huge auction this Sat., Sept. 13 and the piano is on the auction. It would be nice to know if that is true so it could be stated by the auctioneer but I can’t do that if I don’t know for sure. Please email me with what you know about that at: thanks, I would love to hear from you

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