Oak Street Cinema
309 Oak Street SE,
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Once a small neighborhood house called the Oak Theatre, which originally opened in 1916 near the campus of the University of Minnesota, the theater was remodeled in 1935 by the firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan, who also designed the nearby Varsity Theatre and the suburban Edina Theatre, among many other area theaters.
Done in Art Deco style, it could seat around 400 in its elegant auditorium, which had then-cutting edge projection equipment. It also received a new name, the Campus Theatre.
After decades of serving as a popular college area film venue, including a meeting room for film students in its basement, the Campus Theatre closed in 1989.
It briefly served as a venue for stage shows, but in 1995, was renovated and reopened as a movie house. It received another name change, harking back to its first name, as the Oak Street Cinema.
The Oak Street Cinema became one of the Twin Cities' best places to see independent, foreign, classic and other films, as well as host to film festivals like its ‘Cinema With Passion’, focusing on Asian film.
The Oak Street Cinema also worked closely with the neighboring University of Minnesota, and was operated by the non-profit group, Oak Street Arts.
It was also one of the very few old neighborhood theaters in Minneapolis that has never been chopped up into twin or more auditoriums, and theater-goers could enjoy classics on a large screen as they were meant to be seen.
Sadly, it was closed in 2010 and demolished in September/October 2011.
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