Towne Theater

508 NP Avenue,
Fargo, ND 58102

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The State Theater opened in November 1921. Sometime in the 1950’s, the name was changed to the Towne Theater.

It has since been demolished and a parking lot is on the site.

Contributed by Lost Memory

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 22, 2010 at 3:22 am

Boxoffice of April 14, 1951, reported that the former State had recently reopened as the Towne Theatre. The State Theatre had been bought from the Minnesota Amusement Company (a Paramount affiliate forced to divest itself of many theaters by the consent decree) by Francis, Gordon, and H.C. Aamoth on February 9, 1951.

The Aamoth brothers, already operating the Roxy and Park theaters in Fargo, had the State remodeled to plans by Minneapolis architects Liebenberg & Kaplan, expending $50,000 on the project (a later Boxoffice item said the cost of the project was $65,000.) The Towne was to be managed by Gordon Aamoth.

Later that year the Aamoth brothers entered an agreement to sell the equipment and lease the Towne to E.R. Ruben, but this deal fell through. The October 13 Boxoffice item about the sale said that the Aamoths had paid $125,000 to buy the State, and gave the seating capacity as of the time of the sale to Ruben as 1,045.

The Aamoths made another attempt to sell the Towne in late 1953, but this deal apparently failed as well, as the April 10, 1954, Boxoffice said that Gordon Aamoth had had the Towne updated and redecorated. This $11,000 project included a new screen, improved lighting, and the replacement of 300 balcony seats. Additionally, Boxoffice said, “…the former ‘castle’ effects on the walls have been removed and replaced by acoustical wallboard.”

Gordon Aamoth finally managed to rid himself of the Towne in 1962, when he sold the house to Ernie Peasley, operator of the Auditorium Theatre in Stillwater, who would take over the Towne on March 1, according to Boxoffice of February 26. I haven’t found any of the Aamoths mentioned in later issues of Boxoffice except for a 1965 item which said that F.P. and H.C. Aamoth had opened the Roxy Theatre in Fargo in 1932.

The Towne was in operation into 1973, when the Peasley circuit sold it, and the former Roxy (which had been renamed the Broadway), to the Delaware-based Windsor Theatres, as reported in Boxoffice of April 30. The house did not remain open for long after that, though. Boxoffice of November 26 said that the Towne had been razed in late October.

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