West End Theatre

685 W. 5th Street,
Winona, MN 55987

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Article from the Winona Republican-Herald from Saturday, January 15, 1921.

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The West End Theatre was located a little to the west of downtown Winona. The theatre was opened by Colonial Amusement Co. on January 16, 1921 with seating listed at 518 and was half the size of the State Theatre which would open in 1930.

The West End Theatre closed around 1958. It was reopened as the Cinema in fall of 1968, and finally closed in the 1970’s. Any further information on the West End would be appreciated.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2010 at 3:54 pm

Chuck’s description says there were five theaters in downtown Winona, but only four are currently listed. I have two sources saying that, in 1915, the Beyerstadt Amusement Company (or Beyerstadt Bros.) was building a theater in Winona. It might be the missing theater.

An item in one issue of Music Trade Review said the Beyerstadt Bros. theater was being built at Fourth and Johnson streets. That would have put it very close to the State and Winona theaters, both of which were on Johnson between Third and Fourth.

An item in the trade journal Engineering & Contracting said that the new Beyerstadt Amusement Company theater was being designed by La Crosse architect Otto A. Merman.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2010 at 4:10 pm

I found another 1915 Music Trade Review item that said: “Bert and Harry Beyerstedt are planning to erect a new People’s Theater in Winona.” From the wording it sounds like they already operated a theater called the People’s, and were replacing it with a new building.

Also, I misspelled the name as Beyerstadt in my previous comment. The vowels should all be e’s.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on January 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Is it certain that the West End Theater is demolished? I came across this merchant listing for a West End Theater Group; the photo is clearly that of a movie theater and the text indicates it is located in the West End Theater Building; however, the address is 685 W. Fifth. Clicking on the photo will enlarge it:

http://www.merchantcircle.com/business/Historic.West.End.Theater.Group.507-457-0872

winonakid
winonakid on September 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

The original West End Theater closed around 1958. In the fall of 1968 it re-opened as “Cinema” and stayed open through the 1970s. Both were at the 685 W. 5th St. location, which was actually a bit west of downtown Winona. I saw several movies there in the 1970s.

winonakid
winonakid on September 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I’m doing some research on all of the old movie theaters in Winona. I did find another one called the Broadway Theater, which was located at 724 E. Broadway Street, which is a little bit east of downtown Winona. I found movie listings there as late as 1941. I also learned that after being closed for several years, it re-opened as a grocery store in the summer of 1955 (as the Broadway Super Saver). There was a small fire there in 1967, but I believe the building is still standing. I’ll share anymore information I can find, but the Broadway should be listed.

winonakid
winonakid on September 24, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I’ve just added a photo of the ad for the opening of the West End Theatre on January 16, 1921.

winonakid
winonakid on September 24, 2013 at 8:15 pm

According to my research, the West End Theatre closed on May 31, 1957. It re-opened as the Cinema on October 9, 1968.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2013 at 3:28 am

The finding aid to the Liebenberg & Kaplan papers indicates that the firm did remodeling work on the West End Theatre in 1931 and again in 1936. There’s no indication of the extent of the projects, but given that the house was only opened in 1925 they were probably not major.

winonakid
winonakid on September 26, 2013 at 11:57 am

Just a little clarification. The West End opened on January 16, 1921. It was started by the Colonial Amusement Company. I agree that any remodeling was probably pretty minor.

winonakid
winonakid on September 26, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Thanks for all the info added for this one in the past few days. The exact closing date of May 31, 1957 and the exact re-opening date of October 9, 1968 (as the Cinema) should be noted above. Also, I think we’ve firmly established that the State opened in 1926, not 1930. Sorry to be a pain, but I’m a stickler for the facts.

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