1053 Grand Avenue,
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Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg
Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan
Previous Names: Oxford Theatre
Opened as the Oxford Theatre in 1921, by Friedstein & Rubin, this modest neighborhood house was remodeled and enlarged twice in the 1920’s, first in 1926, then again in 1929, when it was given an Atmospheric style auditorium and a new name, the Uptown Theatre. Originally, the theater could seat over 1,200.
It resembled an Italian villa, complete with scenery of the Italian countryside painted between the faux ancient Roman columns. Above, on the ceiling, while stars glittered, clouds would slowly drift by before and after the show onstage and onscreen.
Early ads for the Uptown called it “the largest and most modern Atmospheric theater in Saint Paul”. Its opening night film was Lionel Barrymore in “Alias Jimmie Valentine” as well as two vaudeville acts.
After more than half a century, the Uptown Theatre was closed in 1976, and was soon torn down, to be replaced by a parking lot.
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