Maco Theatre

415 Chestnut Street,
Virginia, MN 55792

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Showing 21 comments

DavidZornig on November 7, 2015 at 9:32 pm

2013 photo added courtesy of The Last Remaining Seats Facebook page.

culpurple on June 14, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Does anyone have a link to photos of the interior of the Maco when it was still in use as a theater? I understand the Native American motif was quite beautiful.

mntwister on July 2, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Speaking of Von’s Drive-in….our home was on the hill in Eveleth and we could see the screen perfectly, and I remember when I was around 13-14 watching some of those American International R rated biker/sex movies with binoculars. Several times we snuck onto the property and watched from the bushes, but they had someone guarding the area pretty well and I think both times we were caught and thrown off the property.

mntwister on July 2, 2008 at 4:27 pm

Lockertalk, I sent you an email about the 26th….I’ll send the email again.

lockertalk on July 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm

i’m still waiting to hear from mntwister, who apparently was good friends of my family that owned the Maco, Granada and Von’s DriveIn Theatres. You can contact me at lockertalk
thank you

packer on June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

if you look at the 5th comment from the top on this page, there is a link to a picture of the Granada theatre with the State Theatre accross the street even. I too went to alot of movies at the Granada. It’s too bad it’s gone.

mntwister on June 24, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Does anyone have any photos of the Granada Theater in Virginia, MN? I spent many weekends of my childhood there and cannot find a single photo of the place and I am having trouble remembering it. I remember well that they showed The Sound of Music every year for a weekend, one performance per night (until its tv showing). I usually went all three nights!

packer on June 23, 2008 at 2:17 pm

Oh ya, those are from the Servicemans club (old Sammy’s Restaurant) in the 200 block of Chestnut. I didn’t think those looked right

lockertalk on June 23, 2008 at 9:41 am

ken mc from jun 19, 2008 6:03pm post:

hey the photo of the doors are NOT from the MACO Theatre.

lockertalk on June 23, 2008 at 9:37 am

hi mntwister,

mntwister on June 19, 2008 at 5:54 pm

Lockertalk, I did not know anyone from the family was still here, who are you? Can we email each other through the site?

lockertalk on June 19, 2008 at 2:02 pm

hi mntwister, i am the last of the cohn/deutsch family living in virginia.

mntwister on February 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm

I live in Eveleth and went to the Maco and Granada theaters all my life. We were best of friends with the Cohn and Deutsch families, so I got alot of posters and pressbooks when they closed as he let me take anything I wanted which he stored, so about 1200 posters, 1500 pressbooks (or so) and all years of Boxoffice magazines. It sure has been fun reading all of those materials since. I remember these theaters fondly.

rvarani on December 8, 2007 at 8:14 am

In reply to Todd, the Tacora opened in Aurora, Mn either in 1955 or 1956. Really, not as old and historic as many of the other theatres in the area. I worked in the booth during the first summer of operation. Replaced an older theatre that had burnt to the ground several yeras eariler. I don’t remember a time when the State Theatre in Ely was not running movies. And, I’m in my 70’s.

packer on December 7, 2007 at 8:35 pm

I went to many movies at the Granada and MACO theatres as a kid. Great times, great theatres. There was a fire in a building ne to the Granada theatre years ago and it had to be torn down. The MACO still stands, except not as a theatre. I actaully live in an apartment accross the street from the MACO and can see the grand marquee from my window. Oh how I wish they still showed movies! Fortunately, the historic Tacora in nearby Aurora, MN still shows movies, as does the State in Ely, MN and the Comet in Cook, MN. Ths is the way movies were intended to be seen!

rvarani on August 16, 2006 at 6:47 am

Very nice picture of Chestnut Steet, Virginia, Minnesota. The Granada Theatre was owned and operated by the Deutsch family. The State Theatre was operated by the Minnesota Amusement Company and closed in 1955. The Maco and Granada Theatre ran “A” product. The State was the “action house”, screening “B” pictures, serials, and was used as a “move over house” and a “revival house”.

The State was originally opened as the Lyric Theatre. It was a vaudville house, with a wide but not to deep autditorium and a large balcany (entire theatre probably sat 500). The lobby area was converted to retail stores. The auditorium and stage are still there waiting to be used again. I was in the space about two years ago. The old “fire curtain” is still working.

There is a group, Lyric Theatre Center for the Arts, that hopes to refurbish this theatre.

From the picture, the white building next to the State Theatre was the old Faye Hotel. The Faye burnt to the ground shortly after this picture was taken.

To comment on statements made by “ken mc”. Many of the towns in Northern Minnesota had three theatres. Virginia had a population around the time the photo was taken of around 11,000. Eveleth, five miles from Virginia, popultation 1948 around 6,000, also had three theatres. I started in the projection booth of the Regent Theatre in Eveleth. Worked a couple of shifts at the Virginia State.

kencmcintyre on August 15, 2006 at 5:45 pm

Here is an example of a (presumably) small town with three theaters. The Maco is at the far end, and the Granada and State are across the street from each other. The photo is from 1948:

rvarani on March 7, 2006 at 2:11 am

The MACO is now being used as a church. The marquee and the entire exterior looks today as it looked during the theatre’s “hayday”. I have pictures ready to post when that portion of this site is once again up and running.

rvarani on June 20, 2005 at 4:19 am

The MACO was operated by the Minnesota Amusement Company, (ABC-Paramount). The interior decor was American Indian. Two large busts of an Indian Chief sat on either side of the stage. The theatre is still pretty much in tack.

nelsonexpert on September 14, 2004 at 12:55 am

It opened in 1938; was a Paramount house. Over the last 15-20 years there have been several operations here, from a disco dance hall to a church and things in between.