Preservation Corner - Save the Terrace Theater

In Minnesota, a group of midcentury modern and theater enthusiasts are fighting for the preservation of a retro movie theater, the 65-year old Terrace Theatre, trying to save it from the wrecking ball.

Originally built in 1951, The Terrace Theatre attracted movie-goers in droves thanks to its state-of-the-art systems, modern styling and luxurious feel. According to the Robbinsdale Historical Society’s website, by 1952, the theater had an incredible 25,000 signatures in its guest book—from attendees who not only accounted for all 50 states but also multiple international locations.

Tomorrow, July 13, the Robbinsdale Historical Society and its supporters are attending a meeting to voice their desire to save the landmark from demolition. The city has received a proposal to knock down the building so as to make way for a grocery store. The historical society hopes to rescue and rehabilitate the theater, perhaps with the grocery store sharing the parking lot.

The historical society lists The Terrace Theatre as originally boasting 1,300 seats, a sunken den, fireplace, television lounge as well as nursery rooms and more. As one of the first ultramodern theaters in America it was a true masterpiece. And it’s preservation has many passionate locals behind it.

Throughout the years the theater was updated with the latest technology to continually improve the experience of moviegoers. After being updated to 70mm equipment in the 1970s and creating a niche for action movies, the Terrace Theatre was purchased by the Midcontinental Theater Company in 1987. In 1999 the theater had its last screening. It has since been boarded up and sold to a property development company.

The theater has also inspired a documentary, which is currently closing in on its Indiegogo fundraising timeline.

For more on The Terrace Theatre, visit the Robbinsdale Historical Society’s website or Facebook page or website.


Sarah Jane Stone - EditorSarah Jane Stone is the editor of Atomic Ranch, has a deeply held passion for all things vintage, a weak spot for handmade pottery and loves wearing neutrals for their chic simplicity. She is endlessly restyling her coffee table and, along with her husband, is on a lifelong hunt for the next best cup of coffee (preferably in a stylish mug). Catch behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, weekly Etsy finds and more by following her on Instagram @sarahjanestone_editor.