3951 Central Avenue NE,
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The Heights Theatre was opened in 1926 by Arthur Gluek of the Gluek Brewery family as a real estate venture.
Built in the Italian Renaissance style on the exterior, resembling a Florentine palace, the inside was decorated in the Beaux-Arts style, more popular 20-30 years prior to the theater’s opening.
It originally seated 450 and featured both "high class amateur vaudeville acts" (as an early advertisement stated) and motion pictures, but later became simply a neighborhood movie house.
The Heights Theatre contained a stage, orchestra pit, and Egyptian crystal chandeliers hanging in the auditorium.
In 1998, the theater was purchased by Dave Holmgren and Todd Letness who restored the Heights Theatre to its 1920’s appearance, including the original color scheme of the auditorium, uncovering the orchestra pit, which was covered over at some point decades ago, restoring polychromed woodwork that were walled over in the 1940’s, and adding new seats and carpeting.
A state of the art light and sound system have also been installed, as has the former Wurlitzer Pipe Organ of Radio Station WCCO which was originally at the Nicollet Hotel.
It is the first movie theater in the Twin Cities area to offer live organ music before the feature since the 1950’s.
Today, the Heights Theatre offers first run, art, revival, and foreign film, as well as concerts on its stage.
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