Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Save Me A Seat In The Balcony

In keeping with my prior attempts to make every tenth post something that can legitimately be called a landmark, I give you the Uptown Theater. It was opened in 1913, although it was then called the Lagoon, and is one of the oldest and largest movie theaters left in the Twin Cities. It's also the only one with a balcony that's still in use. In addition to being a landmark, it's also an institution, in no small part for its long-lived tradition of showing Rocky Horror Picture Show at midnight, although it doesn't seem to be doing that at the moment.

In thinking about it, I think I've only actually seen two movies there. The first was Trainspotting, when I must have been 18, and the second more recently, although I'm unsure of the film. Perhaps it was Cedar Rapids? Anyway, while the place isn't necessarily in pristine condition, it's a reminder of when movie going was a grand experience (well, or at least when people pretended that movie going was a grand experience).

I was surprised that there are only a few images available from the Historical Society. Norton & Peel snapped it in 1938, before the big tower-sign and while there were cobblestones and streetcar tracks, and again in 1957 in the snow. But more interesting to me is this one from circa 1980. The year doesn't sound all that long ago to me, even though I was four at the time, but it sure looks like a different era.

You can find it at Hennepin and Lagoon (and near Lake, obviously).

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