Fargo Cinema Grill

630 1st Ave N,
Fargo, ND 58102

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Roger Katz
Roger Katz on February 23, 2013 at 8:29 am

This theatre was demolished in 2008.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjEyYfXudLM

macroman
macroman on August 7, 2009 at 6:54 pm

When it operated as the Cinema Grill it was configured with 3 screens one on the ground floor and two upstairs with kitchen on the second floor and some lobby area on each. I don’t recall the Lark configuration.

The Cinema Grill configuration had all the traditional theater seating taken out in favor of dining tables and chairs.

christofermeissner
christofermeissner on July 24, 2009 at 11:06 am

I just noticed that the number of screens listed here for this theater is three. I can’t say 100% for sure, but I am pretty sure that this theater never had more than a single screen. If it did have three, it was subdivided from one very late in its life. But I don’t think it was anything other than a single screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 20, 2009 at 10:31 pm

The Lark Theatre opened on November 19, 1970, according to the November 23 issue of Boxoffice. It was built for the North Central Theatres division of ABC Theatres. The August 24 issue of Boxoffice had said that the new house was intended to replace the circuit’s Grand Theatre, which was located adjacent to the new theater.

The May 18, 1970, issue of Boxoffice ran an item about the groundbreaking for the project. This item said that the new theater was designed by New York City architect George Henry Greene, who designed many theaters for ABC during this period. The seating capacity given in the Boxoffice item was 688. It also said that the old Grand Theatre was scheduled for demolition following the opening of the new house.

christofermeissner
christofermeissner on July 20, 2009 at 11:27 am

If you click on the link at the bottom of that blog post, there is another link to a nice, big, high-res version of the image.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 20, 2009 at 9:45 am

If you go on that site the ad might be posted in a larger size. I don’t recall offhand.

christofermeissner
christofermeissner on July 20, 2009 at 9:35 am

Great ad—although I wish the scan was a little bigger! The image shows reasonably well the unique “on stilts” construction of the theatre, with parking underneath. This feature is even incorporated into the advertising—ride the escalator up to the theatre! Interesting also is the use of Xenon bulb projection in advertising, which was still relatively rare at the time (especially, apparently, in Fargo), and which I’ve not before seen used as an advertising appeal. (Did contemporary audiences really care or know the difference I wonder?)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on July 19, 2009 at 10:01 pm

Here is a newspaper ad circa 1970:
http://tinyurl.com/mtgctd

christofermeissner
christofermeissner on April 2, 2009 at 2:02 pm

The Lark Theater and the Fargo Cinema Grill are in fact the same building. The building was built circa the late-1960s/early-1970s (by the Plitt chain, I think) as the Lark. The Fargo Cinema Grill later opened in the same building (after an interlude in the early-1990s as an indoor golf driving range!). The building was nearly one-of-a-kind in that the theater was built sort of on stilts with parking underneath it, an arrangement I’ve not seen in any other movie theatre. The building sat vacant for a few years until recently (in fall 2008), when it was torn down. A building for the downtown Fargo campus of North Dakota State University is now being constructed on the site.