Lawler Theatre

221 First Avenue SW,
Rochester, MN 55902

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The Lawler Theatre opened September 30, 1916, and was first operated by the Colonial Amusement Co. The theatre was listed as seating 719.

Over its years it has a number of operators from Publix to its final operator Carish Theatres by the time it closed. It closed in 1985.

The theatre has since been demolished and the area is all part of the Mayo Clinic Center.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

DJS
DJS on October 24, 2012 at 6:25 am

Took over Management of the Lawler Theatre from Justin Brenden in March of 1977. Their grandson Johnny Brenden very young a the time worked there taking tickets in the early 70’s. Johnny Brenden is now the Manager of the Brenden theatre chain in the western United States. The Lawler theatre was once part of the Ted Mann theatre chain in which his daughter was married to John Brenden son of Justin Brenden.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 2, 2013 at 3:29 pm

The Lawler Theatre appears to have opened with a Barton pipe organ. The Barton was replaced by Wurlitzer pipe organ opus 1350, a Style B Special, III/5, installed in 1926.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 29, 2014 at 12:04 pm

The July 14, 1917, issue of Motography said that the Lawler Theatre in Rochester, Minnesota, had been opened. Their notice might have been a bit late. The July 7, 1985, Rochester Post Bulletin said that the Lawler Theatre was to be closed, and that it had opened on September 30, 1916. It was Rochester’s last downtown theater, and the oldest still operating in the city.

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