Palace Theatre

104 E. Main Street,
Luverne, MN 56156

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PALACE Theatre; Luverne, Minnesota.

Originally named the New Opera House, it opened in September in 1915 and was designed by architect W.E.E. Greene. It was opened by Herman Jochins. It was soon renamed the New Palace Theatre and used for both vaudeville, concerts, and motion pictures.

Built in the Beaux-Arts style popular around the early years of the 20th Century, a tall vertical marquee spelling out the theater’s name was added a couple decades later.

In the theater’s first few years, Herman Jochin’s wife Maude would accompany the silent films on a piano, and, after a pipe organ was installed in 1926, Mrs. Jochins would do the same on the organ.

In 1945 the interior was completely re-designed in an Art Deco style. The Palace has been heavily restored recent years to return the theater to this Art Deco appearance, and today not only still features movies, but live entertainment on its stage.

It would seem that the Jochins loved their theater so much, they decided to stay around there long after they passed away, according to both staff and patrons at the Palace. For many years now, the spirits of both Herman and Maude have been seen around the theater.

Herman, it’s said, likes to stand in the balcony and observe performances now and then, and Maude still enjoys playing the theater’s organ, even during the time it was unoperable, before a restoration returned it to working condition.

The Palace Theatre was added several years ago to the National Register of Historic Places.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

kencmcintyre on December 1, 2006 at 4:21 pm

Here is an article about Mr. and Mrs. Jochin:

YMike on September 26, 2007 at 12:31 pm

This theatre has been pictured many times during the Ken Burns film “The War” which is currently being aired on PBS.

Hibi on October 1, 2007 at 1:21 pm

I was wondering if there was a listing and here it is! Have been watching the series……..

nlund1972 on December 27, 2007 at 1:40 pm

I am looking for information on the architect W.E.E. Greene. They designed my house in 1897, the J.W. Gerber House, in Luverne, MN. If you have any information on this architect, please let me know. I am hoping to find someone who might have a set of building plans for preservation purposes. Please send any correspondence to:

Thank you.

MissRandi on July 15, 2008 at 1:05 pm

I was in Luverne back in 1987 or 1988 and the theatre portion was closed off and the lobby acted as a video store. I must say though that I can’t remember if it was indeed this theatre but I do know it was in Luverne, Minnesota.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 27, 2010 at 9:57 pm

From the 1920s a postcard view of the New Luverne Theatre in Luverne.

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