Pix Theater

729 Hennepin Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN

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Pix Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Designed to be a newsreel theater, the small, 250-seat Time ended up opening as a first-run film house, in 1934, with “The Lost Patrol”.

The simple Art Deco style Time began showing second-run films in 1936, which had played as long as two years earlier at near-by palaces like the Pantages and State. This remained a successful format until the late 30s, when it switched over to adult films, and was renamed the Esquire.

The Esquire would have several run-ins over the years with the police, mostly due to the names of the then-risque-sounding names of the films on its marquee. As ridiculous as it sounds today, in 1941, when the Esquire showed a movie starring former fan dancer Sally Rand called “Nude Ranch”, the authorities ordered the theater’s owners to change the name of it to “Dude Ranch” on the marquee or face fines.

By the end of 1941, adult fare was gone, and the Esquire given another name change, now called the Newsreel. It was run by Metropolitan Theatres of California, and finally used for the purpose it was built for nearly a decade earlier, for newsreels, which had become very popular in the late 30s when war broke out in Europe, and even moreso after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

After a few years of strong business during WWII, the Newsreel once again changed its name and format. It became the Pix, and briefly was a roadshow house, but by 1952, had closed it doors. This time, it was for good, and was converted into retail space not long after.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Sean Ryan
Sean Ryan on February 19, 2004 at 10:08 am

Nice night time marquee shot. This was recently home to Teener’s costume shop. The building is now vacant and for sale. It has great terra cotta on that narrow little facade.
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KJB2012 on August 2, 2007 at 6:39 pm

Today the building is vacant and for sale.

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