1420 Washington Avenue South,
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The Southern Theater was originally built as a small neighborhood community center and live performance space for the Scandinavian immigrant community on Cedar Avenue, also known as “Snoose” Boulevard.
In the 1940’s it changed hands and was converted into a parking garage for heavy equipment. This is also when its original facade was removed and the current brick Art Moderne style one was added. In the 1950’s the building was occupied by a gift shop and later a ‘fancy’ restaurant called the Gaslight.
The restaurant closed in the mid-1960’s and the building sat vacant until the renowned Guthrie Theater tried it as a second venue for performance but that also failed. A non-profit neighborhood group formed shortly thereafter and the 209-seat theater remains open to this day as a venue for the performing arts.
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