Har-Mar 11 Cinemas

2100 N. Snelling Avenue,
Roseville, MN 55113

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The Har-Mar Twin was built in 1970 for the Mann Theatres chain (costing over $750,000) at the Har-Mar Shopping Center. The theater was unusually lavish for its day, with Venetian crystal chandeliers, English tapestries and plush red carpeting. Also, it was equipped with what was then cutting-edge projection and sound technology.

The Har-Mar opened with “Two Mules for Sister Sara” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” to packed houses. In the early 70s, the Har-Mar was one of the most popular Saint Paul theaters, due to its proximity to Highway 36, its large parking lot and being modern and comfortable.

In 1974, the Har-Mar was the first suburban movie house to out-gross a downtown theater, the Skyway 2, playing the same film (“Earthquake”). It was by only very little, but it signified the death knell for Saint Paul’s downtown movie houses and the rise of the suburban theater.

In 1977, the larger of the theater’s two auditoriums was itself twinned, creating a triplex, as the theater was renamed the Har-Mar 3.

Slightly damaged in 1981 by a tornado, the Har-Mar was only closed for a few days for repairs before it was once more open for business. Later that same year, a former grocery store behind the theater was transformed into another eight small screens (the Har-Mar 4-11).

The Har-Mar was at the time the largest movie theater in the state of Minnesota. It was last operated by AMC. The Har-Mar closed in December 2006.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

howard00001
howard00001 on January 3, 2007 at 5:33 pm

Yes, my family and I will miss the old theater. It was not exactly beautiful in the classic sense but it did retain that 1970’s feel for it’s entire existence.

I will not forget the chandeliers in the lobby. They looked like a thousand cheap amber drinking tumblers somehow glued together and lighted. I never saw any “Venetian crystal chandeliers” in the last 25 years- I hope those weren’t them (“yikes” if they were).

Mike, if you do take time to photograph the theater, perhaps you could get inside a moment to snap the chandeliers. I see that there is some stripping out going on right now. Perhaps they’re still there.

The last movie we saw was “Syriana.” Not the best in my opinion. We were quite entertained by the obese mouse running up and down the aisle in the movie light. (Quite a “feast” to be had with all that popcorn on the floor.) It was not the first time we had encountered him there. A whispered mention to the manager the previous time gave us a set of free passes that my wife really didn’t want to use. But we did. The last time there we told the manager just for fun. He sighed and shook his head saying: “Yeah- we’ve tried everything. Traps, poison, everything. Nothing works. Oh well, a few more months and he’ll probably move out too. Wonder if he’s still there or if he’s hanging out at Cub Foods ;)

bigred
bigred on January 3, 2007 at 8:45 pm

I have a few Har Mar pics if you want them give me your e mail. I have a couple that show the chandeliers including one with the light off.

I also noticed that AMC threw all the seats in the dumpsters rather than selling them. It looks like they are determined to make sure no one gets them.

There have always been mice at Har Mar 11. It was usually worse in the back 8. One of the main reasons is it didn’t get cleaned right. The back theaters had a store room at the end of the row of theaters on the right that was just a big store room but at the end of that was another room with the incenarater. It was a mess back there most of the time.

There was a time when just the daily cleaning was poor. They didn’t even clean the equipment at the conc stand correctly if at all. I heard that as bad as it was that it got even worse after AMC took over.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on June 23, 2007 at 9:48 am

You should change the status to closed since this house has been closed since dec. 2006

Chaser892
Chaser892 on October 21, 2007 at 12:40 pm

Finally posted some pics I took on the night the place closed. Unfortunately they shut everything down early and had already turned off the famous lights before I got there, but oh well…

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bigred
bigred on October 22, 2007 at 2:04 am

The seating cap at the Har Mar 4-11 was 139-175. The smaller theatres were on the left hall. There was a trap door in cinema 8 that came out in the office but the carpet covered the door in the office and the door was behind the screen.

kheila
kheila on December 22, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Although I never got around to seeing a movie there (which I sincerely regret) it’s sad to see a landmark torn down. I live a few blocks away, and when I saw it a few days ago it was completely gutted except for the big chandeliers. A few months ago I remember seeing (what I assume were) the big velvet curtains being thrown in the dumpster. Pretty sad.

wisdoug
wisdoug on December 11, 2008 at 5:03 pm

There is no sign of the Har-Mar Theaters remaining. The front 3 theaters are now a Staples store, the back are just a big empty shell. History disappeared in a hurry here.

palebluedot
palebluedot on August 3, 2009 at 8:42 pm

You can see some photos of the theatre exterior, interior and projection booth I took while I worked there at FilmTech

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nelsonexpert
nelsonexpert on August 25, 2010 at 12:57 am

Opening was 9/16/70 with “On A Clear Day … ” and “Two Mules for Sister Sara”. The third screen debuted 10/19/77.

davidmpls
davidmpls on October 20, 2012 at 6:05 pm

The original twin screen Har Mar was a luxury first run theater. The had a fabulous modern chandelier in the lobby, a supercool pod-like box office and a pair of enormous auditoriums. Number 1 was somewhat larger than Number 2. The twinning of one of the auditoriums was awkward and disappointing, creating a “shotgun” style boxy theater. It’s too bad that the Har Mar deteriorated over the years – it was a fine show palace in it’s day.

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