1308 Fourth Street SE,
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The theater is located in Dinkytown, the neighborhood commercial district surrounding the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. It opened in 1915 as the University Theater. In 1939, it was remodeled by Liebenberg & Kaplan in Art Moderne style and renamed the Varsity Theater when it reopened on April 21, 1939. It operated until sometime in the 1980’s.
After it closed, a fierce battle raged over whether to turn it into a club or music venue. Those plans didn’t go through and the Varsity Theater housed a photo studio for some time. The auditorium was gutted to make way for lighting, backdrops, props, etc. The lobby and exterior elements such as the marquee and vertical were completely restored.
The theater reopened in January 2005 as a concert hall.
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