438 Wabasha Street North,
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The Tower was opened in 1921 for Joseph Friedman, a local entrepreneur who operated a handful of small Saint Paul theaters since 1911.
Designed with a Venetian Renaissance facade, in red and gold patterned brickwork with an arched window framed by pillars and intricate cream-colored terra-cotta, the Tower was unique among Saint Paul’s movie houses at the time. A small lobby had walls lined in marble, and its 1100 seat auditorium contained a large balcony, orchestra pit, and Barton Pipe Organ.
In 1926, Friedman leased his theater to the Finkelstein & Rubin chain, which in turn was taken over by the Publix empire in 1929. During the Depression, when Publix was near bankruptcy, Friedman took the Tower back due to non-payment.
Friedman remodeled and modernized the theater’s interior in 1933, but soon after that, Publix took over the Tower once again.
Starting around 1938, the Tower began a double feature program, and by the 50s, was even showing triple bills, mainly of B-grade horror or science-fiction films.
Not long after the Tower closed its doors in 1959, it was torn down.
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