Mann Southtown Theatre
7770 Penn Avenue S,
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Located in the southern Minneapolis outer ring suburb of Bloomington. The Southtown Theatre opened August 7, 1964, at the Southtown Shopping Center, the first shopping center/theatre combination in the Twin Cities. Built for the Mann chain, the theatre was designed in a futuristic modern style, and its auditorium sat over 1,100.
Its marquee was one of the longest ever built, and wrapped around the entire front of the theatre. The Southtown Theatre was said to cost upwards of $750,000 and was personally opened by Ted Mann himself on opening night.
Other amenities the Southtown Theatre included was a colossal screen, 70 by 36 feet, a pair of fountains in the lobby, an oval shaped candy counter, and smoking loges. It was hailed in newspaper advertisements around the time it opened as “The Comfort Theatre of Tomorrow!”
Its first decade in operation, the Southtown Theatre primarily screened second-run features, though it was used by Mann on occasion for the Twin Cities premieres of several films, which soon afterwards were moved to his Academy Theatre downtown.
In the mid-1970’s, the Southtown Theatre became a first-run house, known for screening blockbuster commercial hits like “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Superman” on its huge screen.
In 1980, the Southtown Theatre was twinned, and its great screen was lost. Some of its 1960’s decor was removed at this time as well, including its outdoor box office. The theatre was closed in fall of 1995 and razed soon after.
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