Garrick Theatre

20 N. 2nd Avenue W,
Duluth, MN 55802

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Finkelstein & Ruben, Publix Theaters Corporation

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Previous Names: Rex Theatre

Nearby Theaters

Garrick Theatre

The Rex Theatre was opened in 1913. In 1920 it was renamed Garrick Theatre. By 1926 it was operated by the Finkelstein & Ruben chain. It was the first cinema in Duluth to present sound motion pictures, Vitaphone on October 16, 1927.

The Garrick Theatre was closed in 1955. A parking garage now sits on the site.

Contributed by Kirk J. Besse

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

ThomJP on April 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

The Liebenberg and Kaplan Papers collection at the University of Minnesota has photos and plans of the Garrick. I have just purchased copies of some of these photos for a project I am working on. As a child growing up in Duluth I attended movies at this theatre and remembered when it was torn down.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm

This web page about Duluth’s smaller movie theaters says that the house at 18-20 2nd Avenue West opened in 1913 as the Rex Theatre. The building was razed in 1956.

CJ1949 on July 26, 2014 at 8:04 pm

Closed 2-8-56 “The Spoilers” (the remake). I have 6-1-56 as the date of demolition. Don’t know my source on that. The closing date is confirmed by newspaper ads.

CJ1949 on July 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

The Google photo does not look right to me. Unless there has been some recent changes in downtown Duluth, the site of the theatre was a parking ramp for decades called “the Garrick Ramp”. You couldn’t miss it. The Google photo does not look like a parking ramp to me. It was half way up the block, up the hill from Superior Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm

Street View has indeed been set in the wrong place. The Garrick Theatre was on the east side of 2nd Avenue on the north corner of the alley between Superior and 1st Streets.

Here is one of the photos from the Liebenberg & Kaplan collection that ThomJP referred to in an earlier comment. It is dated 1940, which must be when the firm worked on the theater. This was the facade after the firm redesigned it. Click on the name Garrick in the description on either page to see several more photos from both before and after the alterations.

CJ1949 on May 31, 2015 at 7:59 pm

The links Joe Vogel provides in his 7-26-2014 post: do some more searching on that site and you will find photos for many of the downtown Duluth theatres – there are 1963 photos of the Granada, Norshor, Strand; there is a late 50’s photo of the closed World Theatre (fka Lake), and there are Lyric and Lyceum photos.

kirdog on April 17, 2022 at 7:14 pm

Actually, the Garrick began showing Vitaphone sound movies October 16, 1927.

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