729 Hennepin Avenue,
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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.
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