Parkway Theatre

4814 Chicago Avenue S.,
Minneapolis, MN 55417

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The small 630 seat Parkway Theatre opened in 1931, a simple neighborhood house on the southern edge of Minneapolis. By the early-1970s, its then-owner decided to switch to pornographic films, in order to stay afloat. However, not long after, Bill Irvine, who was the manager of the theater at the time, purchased the Parkway Theatre, and started to screen art and foreign features.

The Art Deco style Parkway Theatre remains one of the only single-screen movie houses in operation in the Twin Cities, renowned for its unusual and offbeat film variety as it is for its homemade popcorn with fresh butter.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

KJB2012
KJB2012 on August 18, 2007 at 12:57 pm

The new Parkway is running adverts in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for the films it’s showing.

barrykryshka
barrykryshka on September 7, 2007 at 2:47 pm

An update on technical improvements at the Parkway. As of September 2007, the screen and masking have been replaced, and a Dolby surround system has been installed. The projector lenses have been replaced, and lenses for classic formats (1.33 and 1.66) have been put into use.

elewis
elewis on September 8, 2007 at 7:23 am

for more information visit the Parkways website at: www.theparkwaytheater.com

KrisPalmer
KrisPalmer on February 11, 2008 at 10:52 am

This string of comments is misleading if read from the start. Parkway never closed. Former owner Bill Irvine sold it to his friend and business neighbor, Joe Minjares, who owns the neighboring Pepitos restaurant. Joe has been carefully restoring the interior for many months. Screenings have continued virtually unabated. To keep the place solvent, Joe removed a block of seats in front of the stage, allowing music (New Year’s Eve), plus speakers, live theater, poetry slams, etc. He has had several midwest premiers, bringing in the producer (as he did with Love in the Time of Cholera), the director (Reilly—a documentary about Charles Nelson Reilly) and as he is doing this weekend with the director of Billy the Kid, Jennifer Venditti. He also shows football games, including the Super Bowl, there.

I live 100 feet from the theater and know Bill and Joe well. I reassembled one of the theater’s original Simplex/Peerless carbon arc projectors for the lobby, where it sits today. (photos here http://nc.startribune.com/blogs/classiccars/?p=44 ) Bill is a big-time fine-cinema fan and so is Joe, who also has Hollywood acting and writing experience, including screentime with Christian Slater in Untamed Heart. This is a moviehouse by film fans for film fans. (Here’s Joe’s IMDB line, for readers' information: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0591406/ )

Kris Palmer, Minneapolis

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 16, 2008 at 1:18 pm

This is a May 2008 photo.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 3, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Here is the Parkway at night.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

A 2009 close-up photo is here.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 9, 2009 at 6:12 am

The Parkway Theater is listed in 1955 with 630 seats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 28, 2010 at 8:29 am

This theater is included on a list of buildings designed by architect Perry E. Crosier, held by the Northwest Architectural Archives at the University of Minnesota.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 25, 2012 at 10:12 pm

The pressure by the studios to force theaters to convert to digital projection may be placing this theater’s future in jeopardy: View article

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