Hollywood Theater – New Life for a Neighborhood Theater Walking Tour

With its highly coordinated interior color scheme and original detailing, the Hollywood Theater designed by the architectural firm Liebenberg and Kaplan is one of the most intact Art Deco theaters remaining in Minnesota. The Hollywood Theater operated as a movie theater from its opening in 1935 until it closed in 1987. The property has been vacant and dark since 1987. Redevelopment of the Hollywood Theater was a challenge similar to that which plagues many Main Streets and commercial nodes throughout the country: the neighborhood movie theater stands empty with the lights off and without a viable reuse. The spatial configuration of a theater combined with the lack of windows makes an economically viable reuse nearly impossible. A phased project was developed so that the exterior could be stabilized and restored with a multi-purpose event center reuse for the main auditorium. This tour will present the key design features of the Hollywood Theater, its main reuse challenges, and the main rehabilitation treatments that were sensitively introduced to the building.

As a Director at New History, Quentin Collette, PhD develops strategies to valorize and reuse heritage buildings and sites. He is an active member of American and European preservation and construction history networks, and joined the Preserve Minneapolis Board of Directors in 2021. Between 2018 and 2023, he worked with the building owner and the project team to rehabilitate the Hollywood Theater.

Next Tour Date: Thursday, August 17 • 6-7:30pm

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