Picture this: Downtown St. Paul's los...

Picture this: Downtown St. Paul's lost movie theaters

There are 41 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Oct 31, 2009, titled Picture this: Downtown St. Paul's lost movie theaters. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The Paramount Theater was St. Paul's grandest movie palace. Legends of the silver screen? Downtown St.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

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Since: May 09

Mounds Park, St Paul

#1 Oct 31, 2009
We girls would skip class, stop at Candyland first, and then smuggle their candy into the Norstar and watch weepers like "Love Story." Remember the Norstar? They tried luring everybody back downtown with 21st Century reclino-seats and a seperate smoking loge if memory serves. Didn't work though.

“it takes a lot to laugh”

Since: Oct 09

St Paul

#2 Oct 31, 2009
I remember attending all of movie theaters mentioned except for the Lyceum. The Riviera run for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was so long that they had to replace the print of the film. The midnight movies at the Norstar were great to attend due to the party atmosphere of the crowd. I read Bill Diehl's reviews religously. If he loved a movie, I would avoid it, if he panned a movie, I would rush out to see it and he never let me down! The few times I saw the movies he loved I was bored to tears, knowing that I would never get that time back for my life. There were other movie theaters in St Paul too. The Arcade theater and Capitol on Payne avenue.
Do not forget

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Nov 1, 2009
the Grandview and the Lexington
No Way

Saint Paul, MN

#4 Nov 1, 2009
Nothing like the old politicians to use GM buses and tear out the streetcar lines, which they are now mistakenly replacing with light rail and great cost!

Since: Jul 08

Brooklyn Park

#5 Nov 1, 2009
Rockin John Pt 2 wrote:
I remember attending all of movie theaters mentioned except for the Lyceum. The Riviera run for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was so long that they had to replace the print of the film. The midnight movies at the Norstar were great to attend due to the party atmosphere of the crowd. I read Bill Diehl's reviews religously. If he loved a movie, I would avoid it, if he panned a movie, I would rush out to see it and he never let me down! The few times I saw the movies he loved I was bored to tears, knowing that I would never get that time back for my life. There were other movie theaters in St Paul too. The Arcade theater and Capitol on Payne avenue.
You are dead on with Bill Diehl's reviews, I did the exact same thing. If he hated it, it was a "must see!" Triple features at the Faust were cool, 25 cents for an afternoon of entertainment. Of course that was before it got all kinky.

Since: May 09

Mounds Park, St Paul

#6 Nov 1, 2009
Labratt wrote:
<quoted text>
You are dead on with Bill Diehl's reviews, I did the exact same thing. If he hated it, it was a "must see!" Triple features at the Faust were cool, 25 cents for an afternoon of entertainment. Of course that was before it got all kinky.
Thanks for the memory. The Faust was a much different place back in the day. My dad would drop off half the neighborhood kids in our old VW bus there on Sat afternoon. They had all the great old serials, too, one after another.
Honky Mike

Inver Grove Heights, MN

#7 Nov 1, 2009
"Dave Thune, St. Paul city councilman: "One of the great experiences of moving to the big city from a farm in North Dakota is, we went to see a movie at the Orpheum. I'd never been to a theater that big, and I'd never seen pickles-on-a-stick before. And a pickle fight broke out in the middle of that movie." "
This is why pickles on a stick and smoking are no longer alowed in MN. Who knows what the side affects from second-hand pickle could be? But whatever it is, we can't have it!
City Dweller

Inver Grove Heights, MN

#8 Nov 1, 2009
I fondly remember the West Twins and the Astor, as well as the wonderful downtown theaters. Sigh.
insanity

Minneapolis, MN

#9 Nov 1, 2009
Honky Mike wrote:
"Dave Thune, St. Paul city councilman: "One of the great experiences of moving to the big city from a farm in North Dakota is, we went to see a movie at the Orpheum. I'd never been to a theater that big, and I'd never seen pickles-on-a-stick before. And a pickle fight broke out in the middle of that movie." "
This is why pickles on a stick and smoking are no longer alowed in MN. Who knows what the side affects from second-hand pickle could be? But whatever it is, we can't have it!
Haven't your ever seen a pickle eater's lung?

Since: Jan 09

West St Paul, Minnesota

#10 Nov 1, 2009
Remember taking a girl on a date to the Orpheum, was our first date. I left forgot to turn off the headlights. The lights were dim when returning to the car. Shut the lights off and sat for a few minutes then pressed the starter button, it started with a low turn over growl. That girl never wanted to date me again.

Neighborhood theaters like the Hamline, Center and Midtown in the Midway area. Late forties the Hamline had Saturday afternoon matinees with a color cartoon, serial and usually a western. The Center was a little more 'classy' than the Hamline and the manager would not let kids into the balcony on matinee afternoons.

Since: Feb 08

Baldwin City, KS

#12 Nov 1, 2009
Observer wrote:
Not all change in society is natual
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2189...
But by that line of reasoning the Senators, neeTwins, would never have left DC!

Since: Feb 08

Big Lake, MN

#13 Nov 1, 2009
I doubt anyone will ever do a nostalgia piece on Maplewood I and Maplewood II.
Cindy Stainker

United States

#14 Nov 1, 2009
Rockin John Pt 2 wrote:
I remember attending all of movie theaters mentioned except for the Lyceum. The Riviera run for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" was so long that they had to replace the print of the film. The midnight movies at the Norstar were great to attend due to the party atmosphere of the crowd. I read Bill Diehl's reviews religously. If he loved a movie, I would avoid it, if he panned a movie, I would rush out to see it and he never let me down! The few times I saw the movies he loved I was bored to tears, knowing that I would never get that time back for my life. There were other movie theaters in St Paul too. The Arcade theater and Capitol on Payne avenue.
My sister, my stepmother and I went to see Jaws at a theater on Payne Ave when I was younger but I don't remember if it was called the Capitol. My dad talks about the Mounds Park theater every once in a while, it is a theater again, but for plays by a small theater group.
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#15 Nov 1, 2009
Cindy Stainker wrote:
<quoted text>
My sister, my stepmother and I went to see Jaws at a theater on Payne Ave when I was younger but I don't remember if it was called the Capitol. My dad talks about the Mounds Park theater every once in a while, it is a theater again, but for plays by a small theater group.
Cindy I'm surprised because by your posts I figured we were about the same age (29 and holding). I remember Mounds Park theater very well, as well as the Arcade and Capitol.

When we were kids, my mom had this weird habit of going to movies in the middle of them, and then staying for the first half at the next showing. Usually these movies were the nature documentaries, and always at one of these 3 places.These posts just brought back that very bizarre memory of my mom :).

Then, as an added treat we'd have the rare dinner out at Nelson's, orrrrrrrrrrrr.....I can't exactly remember the pizza place by Mounds park. Mondas? Does anyone remember?
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#16 Nov 1, 2009
Big Laker wrote:
I doubt anyone will ever do a nostalgia piece on Maplewood I and Maplewood II.
Probably not Big Laker but I'll tell you what; I miss that place. We live in that neighborhood and I can't tell you how sad I was to see it go. My kids were just getting to the age where they could ride their bikes there whenever they wanted to see crappy movie their dad or I didn't want to see. After they closed those theaters, we were either forced to sit and endure 3 hours of hell during a Pokemon double feature or drive back and forth to White Bear. Once they opened Oakdale it wasn't as bad, but thank God they can drive themselves now.
Cindy Stainker

Delray Beach, FL

#17 Nov 1, 2009
here we go wrote:
<quoted text>
Cindy I'm surprised because by your posts I figured we were about the same age (29 and holding). I remember Mounds Park theater very well, as well as the Arcade and Capitol.
When we were kids, my mom had this weird habit of going to movies in the middle of them, and then staying for the first half at the next showing. Usually these movies were the nature documentaries, and always at one of these 3 places.These posts just brought back that very bizarre memory of my mom :).
Then, as an added treat we'd have the rare dinner out at Nelson's, orrrrrrrrrrrr.....I can't exactly remember the pizza place by Mounds park. Mondas? Does anyone remember?
Good afternoon here we go, I don't remember the Arcade, we only went to the (it must be the Capitol) once. I live near where it was. Are you talking about Nelson's on Arcade and Johnson Pkwy? I remember eating there with my family once or twice when I was young. It is Mondas by the Mounds Park theater. The woman who got the theater opened again and who started the theater group had kids in the same school my kids went to. I remember her first stating she wanted to have someplace for her kids to do plays. It has been a long time since. My kids are now both in their mid 20's, with kids of their own,(god I suddenly feel old).
here we go

Saint Paul, MN

#18 Nov 1, 2009
Cindy Stainker wrote:
<quoted text>
Good afternoon here we go, I don't remember the Arcade, we only went to the (it must be the Capitol) once. I live near where it was. Are you talking about Nelson's on Arcade and Johnson Pkwy? I remember eating there with my family once or twice when I was young. It is Mondas by the Mounds Park theater. The woman who got the theater opened again and who started the theater group had kids in the same school my kids went to. I remember her first stating she wanted to have someplace for her kids to do plays. It has been a long time since. My kids are now both in their mid 20's, with kids of their own,(god I suddenly feel old).
Nelson's was actually on Arcade and Wheelock, but yeah, same place. Thinking back, it had terrible food but there were not a whole lot of restaurant choices on the East side back in the day. Really, there aren't any today, either now that I think about it.

My mother brought at least one of my kids to Mounds theater for a play, and it just doesn't seem that long ago. Is it no longer a playhouse? If not, it doesn't seem like it lasted long. I wonder if I'm thinking of the same place.
Cindy Stainker

Delray Beach, FL

#19 Nov 1, 2009
here we go wrote:
<quoted text>
Nelson's was actually on Arcade and Wheelock, but yeah, same place. Thinking back, it had terrible food but there were not a whole lot of restaurant choices on the East side back in the day. Really, there aren't any today, either now that I think about it.
My mother brought at least one of my kids to Mounds theater for a play, and it just doesn't seem that long ago. Is it no longer a playhouse? If not, it doesn't seem like it lasted long. I wonder if I'm thinking of the same place.
You're right Weelock. I think at one point the Mounds playhouse did close, but it opened back up. I have not been up that way for a long time so I'm not sure if it did close down again or not.
John Ervin

Minneapolis, MN

#20 Nov 1, 2009
Great article! I'm just old enough to have caught the tail end of downtown St. Paul's once vibrant movie scene. I also wrote an article for The Rake on the Twin Cities movie theater scene, focusing on Dave Kenney's book and interviews with him. Here is the piece in case you or your readers are interested:
ttp://archives.secretsofthecit y.com/magazine/return-great-wh ite-way
jimmy in Saint Paul

Minneapolis, MN

#22 Nov 1, 2009
Approaching four score years, I can recall all the movie theaters mentioned in these postings. There were two not mentioned- the Uptown on Grand Avenue near Lexington (now a parking lot) and the Oxford on Selby near Chatsworth. The Uptown was for Saturday serials and the Oxford for Laurel and Hardy comedies. I can't recall what a ticket cost but it couldn't have been more than ten cents.

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