Uptown Theatre

2906 Hennepin Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55408

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Finkelstein & Ruben, General Cinema Corp., Landmark Theatres (USA), Mann Theatres, Paramount-Publix, Publix

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Functions: Movies (Foreign), Movies (Independent)

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Lagoon Theatre

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News About This Theater

Uptown Theatre

Opened as the Lagoon Theatre on June 3, 1916. By 1926 it was operated by the Finkelstein & Ruben chain. In 1927 it was equipped with a Marr & Colton 2 manual 7 ranks organ. It was remodeled and renamed the Uptown Theatre on April 25, 1929 following a takeover by Publix.

Following a fire in 1939, it was completely rebuilt by the firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan. The seating capacity was for 900 at its reopening on November 16, 1939.

It screened first run art and foreign films. Midnight screenings of cult films were also popular.

This classic movie house has retained all of its stylistic charm and its restored murals. Following conversion to digital on September 14, 2012, it now has a seating capacity for 350.

Last operated by Landmark Theatres, it was permanently closed in 2021.

Contributed by Kirk

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

CHRasch on December 8, 2006 at 10:00 pm

I wish the current owners would put in an effort to restore the lights and street appearance of the Uptown. They did such a great job on the Edina Theater. It sometimes seems as if it is a kind of neglect that precedes closing and demolition. I think that they should even restore the beacon that once topped the mast. The anti “light polution' crowd would go nuts I am sure. There seems to have been a minor attempt to light some of the bulbs recently. We passed it by assuming it was closed. Darkness comes on fast here in the Great White North and we need lights to welcome us in. The same people who admire the French and Paris sometimes hate lights in their own neighborhood and, I thought that some radical element may have burrowed in to influence the run down look the Uptown was beginning to take on.

So many dates with my wife ended up there. She nearly papered a closet with the wonderful weekly handbills of the wide ranging film program there. I especially loved the Italian fims there…from “Bread and Chocolate” to “Salo” to “Down and Dirty” to all of those Samurai Nights… Mifune and Kurosawa every night.. fun. This place along with the Suburban World down the block was the art house Vatican of Minneapolis. I saw all of the Astaire/Rogers films there…. a wonderful mix. The Rainbow cafe was always nearly next door for Onion Rings after 9:00 PM. You NEVER went down the block withouth reaching into the wooden box to pull out the playbill showing the dozens of films to be shown that month…marking the ones you intended to see. I miss that. ahhhh senile rapture.

CHRasch on January 8, 2007 at 6:34 pm

There has been a recent effort (during the month of December 2006) to re-light the marquee of this wonderful cinema. The underside and front surfaces of the lower section looks sooo much better and the whole street seems brighter. This is a major improvement and I thank the Landmark people for making this beginning. More is to be done but this is very gratifying and beautiful. Now, to restore the Rainbow Cafe down a few doors down the block. <chuckle>

kencmcintyre on January 23, 2008 at 10:56 am

Here is a 1938 photo:

Here is another photo, circa 1980:

sheepy on January 12, 2012 at 1:26 am

The Uptown is closing at the end of January, 2012 for renovation. When it reopens, the balcony will not really be a balcony anymore. Go now while you still can.

CSWalczak on September 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm

The Uptown will reopen on September 14, 2012; it now features all-digital projection and a larger screen. Seating has been reduced to 350, and new carpeting has been laid. The balcony was retained with love seats installed. The theater now serves alcohol. An article about the renovations can be read here.

CSWalczak on September 13, 2012 at 10:51 am

A slideshow showing the recent renovations is here.

Trolleyguy on May 15, 2016 at 7:33 pm

Updated website: https://www.landmarktheatres.com/minneapolis/uptown-theatre

rivest266 on January 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm

April 25th, 1929, November 16th, 1939 and September 14th, 2012 grand opening ads in the photo section.

DavidZornig on September 22, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Address in 2906 Hennepin Avenue, confirmed via Google Street View & Wiki. Opened as Lagoon Theatre on Saturday June 3, 1916, not 1913. Also confirmed. Grand Opening print ad added to gallery. Below is a January 2022 article about a potential restoration with blue prints and planned seating for 2500. Not sure if the plan went forward.


Norman Plant
Norman Plant on September 23, 2022 at 2:46 pm

When I drove by the Uptown in August the doors were open and construction trucks were parked in front of the theater. Obviously some work is being done on the interior.

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