Harbor Theatre

616 Second Avenue,
Two Harbors, MN 55616

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Harbor Theatre

The Harbor Theatre is located off the towns main street on Second Avenue. Seating was listed at 600. The Harbor Theatre was opened prior to 1941, and it was closed prior to 1984. The building housed Architectural Antiques for many years.

The Harbor Theatre was reopened May 31,2014.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

packer on June 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm

This theater has re-opened! Completely renovated and just opened 2 days ago! Glad to see an old theater back in business. Can’t wait to check it out.

Trolleyguy on June 6, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Nice article about he reopening of this theater. http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/content/harbor-theater-brings-big-screen-back-two-harbors-first-time-1980s

Chris1982 on June 30, 2014 at 11:36 pm

An Article from Fox 21 News on June 3, 2014. After more than 30 years in the dark, new owners have re-opened Harbor Theater in Two Harbors, and they say the community support around the effort has been better than expected.

This past weekend was the grand opening and showing of the popular Disney film “Frozen.”

“It’s been great. Their response is great. Frozen was packed. The kids were excited. They were singing in the theater and everyone was clapping at the end, so that was fun,” explained April Schultz, manager of the Harbor Theater.

CJ1949 on May 31, 2015 at 4:25 pm






The above are links to the Facebook page of the theatre and the chamber of commerce FB as well; and the DNT article is still there, and two photos – from probably late 1947 or early ‘48 of the front and a more current photo – both are on the Duluth News Tribune page and the links to the photos are above. The 1947-48 photo is the only one I could find that shows the “Harbor” name. Those letters were still there until more recent years.

There were a number of silent theatres in Two Harbors; one was the Rex, which burned in 1914. Information on these early theatres is very sketchy. By the 1930s there were two theatres – the State and the Harbor. In trade magazine accounts during 1945-46, the Harbor that we know today was a re-build of the previous theatre. That is how it was phrased – “rebuild”. One can assume it was a new theatre on the same site. How extensive was the remodeling, or a totally new building, is unknown. At some point the State theatre closed – most likely 1950’s. Minneapolis area theatre owners Mans and O’Reilly sold Bill Holisky the new Harbor. Trade magazines suggest the sale happened during the construction phase, in Jan. 1947. The 1947-48 photo of the front that the Duluth News Tribune has on its site, shows a poster for “The Long Night”; “Magic Town” is often credited as the first film played in the new theatre (to be verified).

The theatre closed around late 1983 or 1984, but was reopened again by another set of operators in April 1985, and went to about ‘88 or ‘89. This was the last period of time when 35mm film was run in this theatre. The building was either vacant or used for warehousing-industrial types of businesses since then. Funny to note how many people seemed to have forgotten the theatre ran up to ‘88 or ‘89, no recent articles mention this.

If you look at the theatre’s Facebook page today, the photos show a very nice job done in the lobby but the auditorium has been altered considerably. Gone are the murals and paint work, the stage build out was not there before, and it looks like the auditorium is about half the length it used to be. Of course the flourescent lighting wasn’t there.

The theatre is now showing only DVDs or video files. Some of the photos on the Facebook pages show what that is like – something akin to a PowerPoint presentation.

The theatre had dual 35mm projectors – never had a platter. No recent articles have said anything about what became of the projectors, nor any detail given about the alterations to the auditorium – some of which may have been made by the businesses that used the building in the 1990s and 2000’s.

The seating capacity given on this page’s header is 600, but it was around 400 to 425 in its later years as a film house.

Trolleyguy on May 31, 2015 at 5:02 pm

The latest Facebook post by the theatre indicates no movies scheduled for a while. Doesn’t sound very promising .

Trolleyguy on September 13, 2015 at 11:19 am

Facebook page is down, and no listing on the Chamber of Commerce site either. Seems to be closed.

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