West Twins Theatre

924 S. Robert Street,
West St. Paul, MN 55118

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Built by W. R. Frank in 1939, the West Twins Theatre was a single screen movie theatre. It tried to ban smoking in the 1940’s, but it was a losing battle.

The highlight of its marquee was a revolving tower which dominated the West St. Paul district landscape for many years. The West Twins Theatre was closed in 1967 and went over to retail use.

Contributed by Kirk J. Besse

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

mdmjcc2
mdmjcc2 on April 9, 2009 at 6:37 pm

Does anyone know if this theater started as the West Theatre and became the West Twins? And when the change occurred – if it did? And if this theater was called West Twins – logically it became a twin – did it and when? And if not why was it called “Twins”?

clan0013
clan0013 on March 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

“That is just the top have of the theater. Back when I was a kid the marquee did not revolve, but it was called the West Twins Theater. Not that it had two screens, it didn’t. The owners were twins.” – Mark Clancy, former W. St. Paul resident

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on March 7, 2019 at 1:20 pm

Only in development stage was this venue was called the West Theatre. Its opening name was the West Twins Theatre and not the West Theatre. The genesis of this name is from Wilfred Robert Frank and partner Oscar Woempner who had created the Rosebud Twins on the site of the former Royal Theatre in Minneapolis in 1924. They weren’t twin theaters but twin operations (the Rosebud was a combination of theatre and candy store/soda shop at opening).

The “twins” was an interesting concept well-placed in the Twin Cities. Frank and Woempner would operate the Boulevard, Franklin, Lyndale, Park, Rosebud turned Avalon and rebuilt Avalon, Chateau and Lasalle in Minneapolis among other theaters elsewhere.

Here, the West Twins consisted of the West Twins Theatre and an adjoining restaurant once known as the West Twins Inn both launching in 1939. The Perry E. Crosier design deftly blends the two operations together with a unifying style. Another Frank Twin operation was the Boulevard Twins which was a re-launching of the Boulevard Theatre in 1948. Frank paired the Boulevard Twins Theatre and adjoining deli / pastry shop, the Boulevard Twins Restaurant. They were advertised as the Boulevard Twins Theatre – Restaurants and had a period where you could do dinner and a show for one price.

The West Twins Theatre went out of business in 1967 with the entire facility up for sale in 1968 with the restaurant soldiering on. A request to the city for a license to reopen the theatre was denied unanimously in 1970. The space was used for other retail purposes

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