Hollywood Theater

2815 Johnson Street NE,
Minneapolis, MN 55418

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Showing 1 - 25 of 36 comments

rivest266 on January 15, 2017 at 9:32 am

This opened on October 26th, 1935. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

northstar16 on July 20, 2014 at 12:29 pm

New article on redevelopment/renovation plans for the Hollywood and four other local former movie theaters:

Theaters' act two

Charliemn on June 11, 2012 at 12:58 am

This theater has to be saved. Period. Move the building. Fundraise. Co-opt the work. Get ‘er done.

jenchicken on June 4, 2011 at 10:31 pm

There’s a lot of incorrect information here – both in the description and the comments. The Hollywood is for sale by the city of Minneapolis. The cost of the theater is 250K and the estimate cost of restoration is 5-7 million. The property, along with the theater, is associated with two parking areas which are located across the street.

Over the years, multiple attempts have been made to buy the theater but the City has yet to find someone with an acceptable plan which works within the guidelines set forth by the historical registry.

I grew up in this neighborhood and saw dozen of movies at the Hollywood as a kid. I also attended the open house several weeks ago that was part of the Art-a-Whirl festival. For this event, the City opened the theater to bring in guests and try to drum up interested buyers. They also used the lobby to feature art from local school children. The Hollywood will be used in late summer in its current condition to host a Theatre Pro Rata production of Waiting for Godot.


I have a couple of photos of the inside of the theater up on my Flickr.com feed. Photos were taken with an iPad, so the quality isn’t the greatest.

The links are here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyboggio/5798682454/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyboggio/5797672303/

Details on buying the theater from the City can be found here:


Soon as I win the lottery, that sweetie is mine!

TLSLOEWS on June 8, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Good luck to them.

KJB2012 on May 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

I was at the Hollywood open house last Saturday. This was the first time I’d ever been inside the theatre. I was surprised at how big the auditorium was. It seemed larger that the 925 seats.
Anyway some of the city people said that to reopen the house would run about $1 million and to really restore it around $1.5 million. But seem awfully low ball to me. The Shubert downtown is costing upwards of $37 million.
But anyway I’ll go with their numbers.The city has removed the mold, put on a new roof and the house has been heated since the city bought it.
The big problem is parking. It’s mostly street parking. And I’m unfamiliar with the neighbourhood. I don’t know if there would be support for a cinema.
But the Riverview, Parkway and Heights have all sliced out a nice piece of business. None of them have much off street parking either.

CSWalczak on November 5, 2009 at 2:42 am

Old seats from this theater are for sale; information here:
View link

milesmercer on June 22, 2009 at 1:04 pm

The City of Minneapolis issued a Request for Proposals for redevelopment of the Hollywood Theater.
View link

jaycarmichael on May 14, 2009 at 8:33 pm

any information regarding the renovation of this theater would be greatly appreciated.

mdmjcc2 on April 2, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Does anyone know if theatre was ever called the Hillside or know anything about the Hillside? I know it was in South St Paul and was a functioning theater in the 1960’s. Address? Who Owned? Did it ever have another name?

KJB2012 on January 21, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Anyone know how the status of this cinema?

jjjkokopelli on September 25, 2007 at 7:25 pm

Royce and I have been working hard to re-establish a non-profit organization to secure grants, loans and other funding for the Hollywood Theater Renovation. We have been working on this project for the past 3 years, and only the last 6 months of that have been to get the non-profit back up and running. It took the Guthrie Theater about 7 years to get there new building, and they are a known entity, they have a LOT of support, and they certainly had access to funding to accomplish this. The Ritz Theater took 10 years! So far the neighborhood has shown little patience with any entity that comes in to try to rehab the facility. Now it seems that some people on the board have their eyes on the funding and would rather allocate it for their own pet projects. On October 1, 2007, 7:00 p.m. the neighborhood is planning on discussing the neighborhood funding for the Hollywood Theater. If anyone is available, please join us in the fight to keep this funding allocated to the theater. Thanks! www.hollywoodonjohnson.com

BARB on September 21, 2007 at 12:06 am

Does anyone have any updated news I would love to buy the property right next to the hollywood and open a coffee shop. The neighborhood really needs a great fun clean shop. Maybe even serve cheese and wine in the evening. with wine tastings CHEESE TASTINGS ETC.

biograph68 on September 6, 2007 at 1:49 pm

There is a web site related to an effort to restore the theater.
The “news” on the site hasn’t been updated for several months. Does anyone have any updates?

BARB on August 26, 2007 at 11:00 pm

The hollywood takes up takes up the entire lot it is on. It is very close to downtown Minneapolis. The plan to seat like 800 plus people will be interesting as it is a residental neighborhood with street parking. It is a wonderful example of art deco but it appears to be falling apart.

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:30 pm

In the photos that I have viewed the building is very large and seems to take up a large chunk of land. Is it in or near the downtown area?

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:28 pm

Jacob J. (Jack) Liebenberg was born in Milwaukee to German-Jewish parents in 1893. He attended the University of Minnesota and was part of the first graduating class in the School of Architecture (1916). After receiving a McKim fellowship, he then studied at Harvard University where he was awarded the Prix de Rome, a scholarship for promising architectural students. After service in the Air Force, Liebenberg returned to Minnesota and taught at the University for a year before forming an architectural partnership with a student, Seeman Kaplan. Kaplan, who later became Liebenberg’s brother-in-law, focused on the business aspects and engineering details while Liebenberg was in charge of design.

The architecture firm of Libenberg and Kaplan maintained a full general practice, designing a variety of homes, hospitals, commercial and industrial buildings, churches, and synagogues, but it was their designs for theaters that gave them wide acclaim. During their careers, they designed over 200 theaters throughout the Midwest. In the Twin Cities alone, Liebenberg and Kaplan were responsible for the Granada (Suburban World, 1927-28), the Wayzata (1932), the Edina (1934), the Hollywood (1935), the Uptown (1937), the Varsity (1938), and others no longer standing. Other noteworthy commissions include Adath Jeshurun Synagogue (1927) and Beth El Synagogue (1926, razed 1995).

Over their long careers, Liebenberg and Kaplan designed within a somewhat transitional architectural period. Their theaters were a showcase of a combination of eclectic elements of the 1920s and the newer Streamlined and Zigzag Deco motifs of the 1930s.

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:26 pm

“When the Hollywood Theater opened on October 26, 1935, the marquee pronounced it “The Incomparable Showcase of the Northwest.” Built during the peak of the Art Deco period, with a budget that allowed for generous use of decorative elements, the Hollywood is an excellent example of the Deco style and the trend to small, yet elegant, neighborhood theaters. Architects Liebenberg and Kaplan, famous for their Minneapolis theater designs, used a coordinated color scheme and intricate detailing to design the Hollywood, a theater some have called “the most original and daring scheme for their time.”1 All public interior spaces are designated for their zig-zag Deco style with streamline accents. The exterior, with the exception of the marquee, is designated. The Hollywood Theater, aside from its masterful depiction of Art Deco architecture, is significant as a remnant of a pattern of theater/entertainment growth that took place in the United States between 1920 and 1939.”

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:20 pm

In this theatre’s heyday, it had a beautiful marquee and one that vertically said HOLLYWOOD! BTW, how did this theatre get that name in MN? After looking at the photos that Sean posted on May 7, 2004 I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful art moderne/art deco streamline designed theatre! What happened over the years that this theatre would become stripped and neglected?

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:16 pm

Go to http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/12387.html and you’ll see more photos of this theatre in its present state.

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:10 pm

ariane: The “northeastbeat.com” site is very good. And when you visit the other CT Hollywood site you’ll see that I posted your August 3 at 11:28 comments there, too to help spread the word even further.

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 4:05 pm

ariane: Also wanted to ask you about an HGTV show that I think is filmed in Minneapolis…Design on a Dime. The host frequents a local Minneapolis antique shop on many of the shows that uses and finds new ways to use “trash to treasure” items.

ariane on August 3, 2007 at 3:20 pm

Patsy,Thanks for the additional info…yes I did frequent that bridge and thanks to my boyfriend’s perpetually and,usually, annoying habit of starting projects as we are on our way out the door we were running late for dinner plans that night and thankfully missed being there when it happened

For all others interested in this theater, I also found a current site that gives more up to date info on who owns and is working on this theater. Check out this link to see more about the current info on the theaters renovation plans:
View link

Patsy on August 3, 2007 at 2:43 pm

ariane: If you haven’t already, please post your comments of August 3, 2007 on the CT link below as well. And Sean Ryan’s May 7, 2004 post has some wonderful comparison interior and exterior photos that really put this theater’s past and present into better focus.