Ely Theatre

125 E. Chapman Street,
Ely, MN 55731

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Ely Theatre...Ely Minnesota

The Ely Theatre opened in 1936. It was operated by Bauer Theatres until 1950. Seating was listed at 600.

In 1950 until closing it was operated by Home Theatres. The theatre closed in 1980 and has since been converted to retail.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

packer on January 10, 2010 at 10:58 am

Unfortunately there isn’t much left of this theater. The shell is there and thats it. It was completely gutted several years ago.

TLSLOEWS on March 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Thanks for the photos Ken and Don.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 18, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Yes,ken and don,thanks you guys supply so many great shots.

Chris1982 on June 20, 2014 at 6:41 pm

The Ely Theatre was listed as open in 1936

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 14, 2015 at 12:50 am

Around 1935 the Ely Theatre was to have been remodeled and renamed the Rio Theatre, according to the caption of this photo from the files of Liebenberg & Kaplan, architects of the remodeling.

This photo, also from Liebenberg & Kaplan, shows a wider view of the theater.

Either the caption was in error about the renaming, or the owners changed their mind about it. Either way, the Ely Theatre was in operation by 1935. Not only is the photo dated that year, but the movie named on the marquee, King Solomon of Broadway, was released that year.

But I think the captions might be wrong about the photos having been taken before the remodeling. The streamlined look of the building and its signs were characteristic of the mid to late 1930s. I suspect that the photos date from after the remodeling, and that the house might have been renamed to Ely Theatre from some other name. I can’t find any references in the trade journals to a house at Ely called the Rio, but I found a reference to a house called the Elco operating in 1918, and to a Grand Opera House in 1929.

There was also an as-yet unnamed theater under construction in Ely in 1928, according to the October 27 issue of Exhibitors Herald and Moving Picture World.

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