Excelsior Dock Cinema
26 Water Street,
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Built near the shores of Lake Minnetonka, in downtown Excelsior, the Tonka Theater opened April 26, 1940 with “Meet Dr. Christian”. It was a small 500-seat theatre but had an elegant Streamline-style whose auditorium was decorated with murals of steamboats on the nearby lake. Just three years later, however, the Tonka Theater was gutted by a fire. It took an appeal to the War Production Board, as this occurred during World War II, and there were strict regulations on building materials. As it was the town’s sole movie house, the owners of the Tonka Theater were allowed to rebuild, and during the summer of 1945, it was reopened.
On July 4, 1975, the Tonka Theater was twinned, and at the same time, received a new name, the Dock 1 & 2, with the main floor being Dock 1 and the former balcony, Dock 2. The theatre was triplexed during the 1980’s.
The theater remains a popular destination, screening a mix of first-run, art and foreign features.
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