St. Louis Park Theatre

4835 Minnetonka Boulevard,
St. Louis Park, MN 55416

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The St. Louis Park Theatre opened in 1939, in the Minneapolis suburb for which the theater was named. Costing over $100,000 to construct, and designed by architect Perry Crosier in elegant Art Moderne style resembling more a sleek, sophisticated downtown nightclub of the era than a neighborhood movie house. It was one of the first theaters in the Twin Cities suburbs to allow smoking.

In 1957, the theater was modernized, including the addition of 70mm projection equipment, only the second theater in the state to do so, after the Academy Theatre downtown. In 1963, Mann Theatres took over the theater, and two years later, the Park again was remodeled, this time for the addition of Cinerama, with “The Battle of the Bulge”.

During the rest of the 1960’s and well into the 1970’s, the Park remained one of the main road-show format houses of the Twin Cities area. However, after a nearly 60-week run of “Star Wars”, the theater closed in 1980. The auditorium was demolished, and the lobby space converted into retail space.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Jesse Hoheisel
Jesse Hoheisel on March 12, 2005 at 8:14 pm

When the theater was around, the address was 4835 West Lake Street. Of course, much has changed since it closed almost 30 years ago, so it’s possible that’s how things got mixed up.

Coate
Coate on June 19, 2005 at 1:30 pm

The St. Louis Park was among the theatres included in the original limited-market launch of “Star Wars.” The St. Louis Park’s 5/25/77 opening-day gross, according to Daily Variety, was a house record $6,149.

northstar16
northstar16 on December 21, 2006 at 3:15 am

Nice current pictures of the theatre site:
http://www.cinematour.com/tour/us/19918.html
Incorrect theatre address noted.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 27, 2007 at 9:47 pm

Here is a photo being advertised on eBay:
http://tinyurl.com/2tp7ju

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 18, 2008 at 5:46 pm

This might be the same photo that was on Ebay. The year given for photo is 1941.

William
William on March 20, 2009 at 5:36 pm

That photo dates from 1943. The feature playing was “The Constant Nymph” with Charles Boyer, Joan Fontaine.

rvarani
rvarani on April 4, 2010 at 5:06 am

Believe it or not ran “Gone With The Wind” here in 70mm during the 1960’s

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 27, 2011 at 10:24 am

The description says that the auditorium of this theater has been demolished. If that’s so, the status field should be changed to match.

The St Louis Park Theatre was featured in an article in Boxoffice of May 5, 1958. There are several photos of the house on this page and the two subsequent pages.

The theater had reopened on November 8, 1957, after a remodeling and redecoration, which had included some structural changes. The architect for the project was John Field, of the San Francisco firm Knorr, Elliot & Associates. Field was the son of the theater’s owner, Harold D. Field. The caption of one photo gives the seating capacity of the remodeled house as 960.

sbjork
sbjork on May 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

I was there opening night for Star Wars on May 25, 1977. We came for the 7:00 show and they had already sold out that one and the 9:00 showing as well. We had to go back the next day — much earlier, needless to say. When we got there the line had filled the lobby and had just come out the front door. We jumped in and in less than five minutes the line behind us had looped the entire building.

I miss movies truly being “events” like that!

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