Grand Theatre

240 Hennipin Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Savoy Theatre

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1959 photo credit Hennepin County Library Digital Collections.

The Savoy Theatre was operating prior to 1928. By 1950 it had been renamed Grand Theatre. It was a very small single aisle, single story, non-discript theatre. The Grand Theatre was a grind house operating every day from 10:00 am to 11:30 pm. The Grand Theatre specialized in showing burlesque and "girly" films, i.e. "A Night At The Follies", etc.

The Grand Theatre was a rare example of the projection booth being located behind the screen.

Contributed by Richard Varani

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

rvarani on April 3, 2010 at 11:11 am

This was a straight on rear projection system. Screen was translucent glass. The projectors were set to a slight upward angle so the audience would not see a “hot spot”. Used a 2-½ inch lense. The throw (distance from the lense to the screen) was between 30 and 40 feet. In a normal operation the projectionists always worked with the sound track toward him/her. At the Grand we had to work with the sound track away from us. Worked many a shift in the booth during 1957-58. Booth equipt with Standard Simplex Heads, Peerless Low Intensity Arc Lamps, and Ultraphone Sound. Ultraphone made a special sound head to handle the sound track being on the other side.

rvarani on March 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Could have been the Savoy. I first hit Minneapolis around 1952. It was the Grand at that time. I changed the street scene to show exactly where it was. It must have closed around 1959 or 60. Remember working the booth during the middle 50’s.

rvarani on March 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Above picture keeps coming back to where it was. Theatre was actually across the Hennepin Ave from this site.

rvarani on March 12, 2014 at 2:17 pm

All the time I was involved, the bank building on the right was not there and there was a parking lot on the left side of the Grand. If the Savoy was indeed the Grand, the fa├žade of the theatre building dramatically changed. I will say it was a three story building. So the picture could be

rvarani on March 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

Just reviewed a book I have, “The Life and Death of Minneapolis’s Skid Row”, Photographs by Edwin C. Hirschoff; Essay by Joseph Hart. Book is published by the University of Minnesota Press. On page 66 is a full page picture of the Grand Theatre as I knew it. Comparing this picture to the above picture of the Savoy, they are one and the same. I hesitate to post this picture as the book and photographs in it are copyrighted.

DavidZornig on June 7, 2020 at 12:07 pm

1938 photo added credit Star Tribune. Description beneath photo.

DavidZornig on September 2, 2020 at 12:39 pm

1959 photo added credit Hennepin County Library Digital Collections.

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