Monticello Theatre

137 Broadway Street East,
Monticello, MN 55362

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The Monticello Theatre was erected in 1949 by A. Muller. It was the small town of Monticello’s first movie house. Built amongst the downtown storefronts, the building also housed an upstairs apartment, which one had to maneuver around to reach the projection booth and office. This was the first of seven theaters to be built by the Muller family of Maple Lake, MN. The main auditorium featured two Century model C projectors, 300+ rocking seats, a cry room, silver screen and was 3D capable.

In the early-1980’s, the ice cream parlor next door was converted into a second, smaller auditorium, extended lobby, and restrooms. A platter was added to the main auditorium and one of the Centuries was transferred to the new booth, which was situated behind the new auditorium. Dolby sound was also added at around this time as well.

In the early-1990’s, two more auditoriums were built on the west side of the original building, as well as another extension of the lobby with more sitting area. The two new auditoriums had surround sound as well. Sometime between this extension and the year 2000, a Dolby Digital sound system was added into the large auditorium.

The Monti was the only older Muller theater to retain its original seating configuration during the stadium seating boom of the late-1990’s. It had to compete, though, with larger theaters in Elk River and Maple Grove.

In 2004, the building was closed following completion of the new 14-plex, stadium-style new Monticello Theatre, built across I-94 on the outskirts of town. The cornerstone from the original building was placed in the entrance to the new theater. Much of the old equipment, including speakers, is now installed at the new theater. The original seats were sold to the public.

Contributed by Steve Scott

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

KJB2012
KJB2012 on July 10, 2007 at 10:43 am

The building is currently for sale.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm

The October 29, 1949, issue of Boxoffice reported that Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Muller were opening the Monticello Theatre on that date. The original auditorium had 500 seats. The house was being called the Monti Theatre in issues of Boxoffice as early as 1954.

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