Garrick Theatre

Virginia, MN 55792

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Garrick Theatre

The Garrick Theatre was opened prior to 1924. It had closed by 1941.

Contributed by todd

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Chris1982 on July 1, 2014 at 12:02 am

The Garrick is listed as closed in 1939. At that time seatin was listed at 779. From the looks of the photo it would be reasonable to assume the 779 was correct.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

This web page with a history of Virginia says that the Garrick Theatre was the predecessor of the Maco Theatre. A photo from the 1920s shows the front of the Garrick, and several of the buildings on the block are still recognizable in modern Google street view. The perspective of the vintage photo is a bit different, but it does look as though the entrance of the Garrick was in the same spot as the entrance of the Maco, and so would have the same address, 415 Chestnut Street.

What I haven’t been able to figure out is if the Maco was entirely new construction or an extensive rebuild of the Garrick. The seating capacity of both houses was about the same (700+), so the auditoriums probably occupied the same footprint. I’ll see if I can dig up more information, but in the meantime at least we have an address for the Garrick.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2016 at 4:59 pm

I’ve come across something interesting but inconclusive. The finding aid to the Liebenberg & Kaplan papers has two entries for the Maco Theatre. One, undated, lists the blueprints for the project. The other, headed “Maco 1920, 1937-38” lists a pencil drawing. In that entry the architect field says “Libenberg and Kaplan (Kees and Colburn),” which I would take to mean that the Garrick was designed (and perhaps built) in 1920, and designed by the Minneapolis firm of Kees & Colburn (Frederick Kees and Serenus Colburn.)

The 1937-38 suggests plans for a remodeling by Liebenberg & Kaplan at that time, but the undated entry with blueprints suggests that the remodeling might have been abandoned in favor of entirely new construction. The introduction to the L&K papers finding aid says that the Maco was a 1940 project, but doesn’t cite a source for the claim. Again, I’m still not sure if the Garrick was demolished or just rebuilt as the Maco, but at least now we know the original architects of the Garrick.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

The text does not identify it, and the distinctive vertical sign is seen from edge-on, but I’m sure that this 1934 photo depicts the Garrick Theatre. The marquee and the shape of the parapet are recognizable from the photo I linked to in the second comment back.

A PDF from Iron Range Jewish Heritage says that the Garrick Theatre opened in 1921 in the building that by 1939 had become the Maco Theatre, so we have one source saying that they were the same theater.

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