Stage 7 Theatre

31 W. Lake Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55408

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CJ1949
CJ1949 on September 9, 2012 at 9:00 am

The Vogue didn’t open in 1948, that was only a remodel and redecoration, and “new management” (probably Henry Greene).

The building permit for a theatre here was issued in 1913. It closed in 1939 for a few weeks and at that time it had been called the New Lake (not to be confused with the Lake Theatre which was further east on Lake Street). When it reopened in July 1939 (“Stagecoach”) it was under a new name VOGUE. Then another remodel in 1948 but no name change. Building permits show there was some minor remodeling in 1954 and 1955 to the canopy, concession stand, front and lobby. It appears the Vogue closed in Nov. 1967.

It reopened as the STAGE 7 on May 22, 1968 with double bill of Cool Hand Luke and Tony Rome. It closed Feb 16, 1975 with A Minute To Pray A Second to Die plus Wattstax. Also frequently shown in the early 1970s were German language films. One of the perennial money makers here was “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” which brought in capacity crowds and was repeated many times. A new screen was installed for the 1968 reopening, and seats and projection equipment came from the El Lago Theatre which had closed in 1966. The Vogue had an artesian well system. Seating capacity during the Stage 7 days was around 375. A restaurant next door, LaPizzeria, would bring in your food (you could order via an intercom). The Stage 7 owner also owned the restaurant. George Kennedy came to the theatre while shooting “Airport” in Mpls. He hadn’t seen “The Dirty Dozen” and came in and told the owner that he wanted to keep a low profile.

Also see American Theatre in Minneapolis, which was across the street from the New Lake/Vogue/Stage 7.

tjo
tjo on September 5, 2006 at 1:13 am

The Vogue Theater was closed in 1966 and reopened as the Stage 7 Theater. The pink and green moderne exterior was repainted in a stark bright white and black design. The interior was stripped of all moderne decor, with the exception of the 20’s light fitures, which were painted a flat black. The vertical marque was covered and the name Stage 7 was painted in Roman lettering. It was illuminated with a single spotlight on each side. The interior walls were all painted bright white, as was the ceiling. The lower portion of the walls were painted a flat black. The only original piece of decoration was an illuminated clock above the left hand front exit door, and the orginal screen curtain and curtains on the front exit doors. I think were were a drab olive green. The theater ran children’s matinees on weekends for a few years, until most local families moved to nicer, quieter areas of town. By the early 70’s, the area was mostly young adults living in apartments. Most all of the local schools were closed in 1981. The American Theater, located one block east, was also closed in 1966 and converted into a porn house in 1968. The area’s local Porn King purchased all of the local family owned business he could and converted them into sex business. The owner of the Vogue Theater counted with double feature bills of second run movies after they left the downtown theatres, as well as American International Pictures double features. The drive-in season in Minnesota was only four months of the year. In 1974 city leaders proposed a grandiose regional shopping center to be built at the Nicollet and Lake Steet area. The Stage 7 was on the block that was demolished first and they closed in 1974. A four story condominium building was built on that site and it houses a very large medical clinic on the first floor. Interstate 35 was built three blocks to the east of the theater, and only a very large and very ugly discount store and a small modern supermarket were built as retail on that six block site. The very ugly discount store and supermarket are still in business today.