711 Hennepin Avenue,
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The unusually-named Blue Mouse Theatre opened in 1920 after more than a year of construction at a cost of around a quarter million dollars. This downtown Minneapolis house could seat around 1,500 in its elegantly decorated auditorium and contained a marble staircase in its lobby.
Its facade was decorated in white terra-cotta done in a Neo-Gothic style, and rose a full three stories over Hennepin Avenue.
It was renamed the Lyric Theatre in 1923, after an older theater of the same name directly across the street from the Blue Mouse Theatre had closed.
For most of its existence, the Lyric Theatre was a second-run house, playing films after they had had long runs as the larger houses like the Minnesota Theatre or the State Theatre, just up the street.
In the late-1950’s, the Lyric Theatre started to play roadshow films, with reserved seating, starting with the epic “The Ten Commandments” in 1957. This film, and a handful of others afterwards, would have decent runs, but only mediocre grosses compared to many other roadshow houses in the Twin Cities.
By the 1960’s, it went back to second-run films. In 1971, the Lyric Theatre closed, and not long afterwards, was demolished to make way for a new cinema, the Lyric Twin, which, just before opening, was renamed the Skyway 1 & 2.
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