Requiem for the Uptown Theatre

One of the last of the great pre-war movie palaces closed for good a year ago. I visit the scene.

Representing and located at the heart of Minneapolis’ Uptown neighborhood, the owners of the building took back the theater from its operators, who owed more than $340,000 in back rent.

Uptown Theater, Looking south down Hennepin Avenue, June 12, 2022

Since then, the site has sat vacant, open to the predations of the rapidly deteriorating neighborhood around it.

I’m not sure what this is supposed to be behind the Uptown, beside Lagoon Avenue:

Built in 1916, the theater was originally named the Lagoon, after the Avenue it sits alongside. It was rebuilt after a fire in 1939, in the art deco style it still displays. It closed for the pandemic in 2020 and never reopened.

The neighborhood is still recovering from the local unrest that followed the shooting by U.S. Marshals of Winston Smith at the top of a nearby parking ramp.

It looks like Urban Outfitters is giving up, as of next week:

But it was not for lack of virtue signaling:

Further down Hennepin, the 1927 Granada theater is still going, albeit as a restaurant and event venue:

Next door sits some patented Uptown quirkiness: