Suburban World Theater rehab - 3022 Hennepin Ave S

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Suburban World Theater rehab - 3022 Hennepin Ave S

Postby twincitizen » December 4th, 2012, 11:49 pm

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/182065071.html

The Strib has posted a nice blurb about the vacant Suburban World Theater in Uptown and mentions El Lago in Lyn-Lake.
Bonus content: a comment by thatchio

I figured that this was topic-worthy, since if there ever is a redevelopment proposal, we'll be talking about it here. In the meantime we can brainstorm and fantasize about what kinds of businesses could realistically be successful in these spaces.

I don't think it's too bold to say that neither of them will find success as theaters again, unless the nearby Lagoon Theater goes away. The demand just isn't there. I'm thinking it's gotta be retail, restaurant, or maaaybe a concert venue, as thatchio suggests.

Given the recent-ish transformation of Hennepin-Lake into a successful, semi-upscale retail destination, I could see Suburban World housing a large name-brand retailer, but they'd have to partially deface the building with a big sign and glassy entrance.

Discuss.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby helsinki » December 4th, 2012, 11:57 pm

I think the music venue idea is great. Or comedy club. Or something else involving live performance. The space probably would work well for it (it is a theater, after all).

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby Chef » December 5th, 2012, 12:44 am

I think live music venue is the most obvious way to go, and there would certainly be a demand for it.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby twincitizen » December 5th, 2012, 12:49 am

A demand for it to be quiet, by the incumbent city councilmember in that area!

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby seanrichardryan » December 5th, 2012, 12:49 am

Perhaps they should invite Jason Mclean to jack up the historic interiors? The suburban world is a wonder, despite the bad cinema cafe renovation of the seating areas.
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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby Andrew_F » December 5th, 2012, 2:47 am

Agreed on the live venue. If you haven't been, check out the Music Box on Nicollet.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby Nathan » December 5th, 2012, 11:00 am

Bring back the Uptown Bar. I thought that the uptown bar was supposed to be renting the theater over by the Herkimer. Though I'd imagine the corner has enough venues with Cause just across the street.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby twincitizen » April 5th, 2013, 9:18 am


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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby gpete » May 21st, 2013, 9:56 am

Possible retail tenant coming to Suburban World Theater: http://www.startribune.com/blogs/208307781.html

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby Aville_37 » May 21st, 2013, 7:36 pm

Excited about the renovations/restoration - but sad Uptown can't support a a performing arts space, or space for concerts,etc.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby twincitizen » May 21st, 2013, 7:42 pm

Unless they're subdividing for multiple tenants, that's gotta be a pretty big space. I'd count on a national retailer on par with the neighboring stores. Cue the whining from people who remember how great Uptown used to be (you know, when it had more vacancies and contributed less to the City's tax base)

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby seanrichardryan » May 21st, 2013, 8:22 pm

twincitizen wrote:....Cue the whining from people who remember how great Uptown used to be (you know, when it had more vacancies and contributed less to the City's tax base)

Shhh, don't get them riled up.
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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby thatchio » May 21st, 2013, 8:36 pm

Without knowing more details, it does sadden me that the space will go from potentially being a gem of an entertainment venue in Uptown to being a retailer.

I believe that the Suburban World could have become a really cool venue IF the City exempted certain types of entertainment venues from food/alcohol revenue thresholds (60/40). In talking with professionals familiar with performance venues, I learned that the "problem" with the Suburban World was that it had a higher cost to renovate and the 60/40 was unrealistic given its smaller floor space and lack of adequate kitchen and seating space to generate enough food sales. Their view was that the only way it could make sense is if the Amazing Thailand restaurant space used the theater as an event venue and tied all the revenues together to get 60/40.

It had such great character inside and the full ambiance was had when the lights went down and the clouds danced on the ceiling, the "stars" twinkled and the mood lighting on the walls softly glowed. A retailer will light that place up. I suppose the only upside is that they will invest in the building and that if they fail, perhaps someone later can return it to an entertainment venue. I will be advocating that the cloud machine, star-studded ceiling, and walls don't get destroyed in the process. I wonder how they enforce that, performance bond?

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby seanrichardryan » May 21st, 2013, 9:35 pm

I thought the interior was designated? The current theater floor and lobby spaces are terrible and rather disrespectful to the space. The original architectural elements suffer from lack of maintenance and poor quality painting. I look forward to a potential restoration of these elements. It would be sad not to see the theater in a dimly lit environment again, but that's not to say you won't be able to enjoy the space. The Chateau Theater in Rochester comes to mind. It's a magnificent Barnes and Noble with much of its interior in-place, including the cool atmospheric lighting.

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Last edited by seanrichardryan on July 16th, 2013, 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby John » May 22nd, 2013, 9:53 am

Can't wait for this beautiful theater to come back to life! I give a lot of credit to the retailer moving into this space for using good imagination to locate here.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby lordmoke » May 22nd, 2013, 10:06 am

While it would be great to see the building come back to life again, this makes me very nervous. Converting the space to retail- especially if not done with extreme care- could prevent it from ever being used as a theater again. And that's hard to stomach when Uptown doesn't even have a decent live performance venue.

EDIT: Full disclosure: I have a huge soft spot for old movie theaters, which I would wager are the most demolished kind of building in major American cities in proportion to the number of them that were built. Also, because this is a somewhat loose topic, these two links fit the parameters.

Almost complete list of every theater ever built in the area:
http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/uni ... inneapolis

Great book, for anyone else interested in old Twin Cities theaters:
http://www.amazon.com/Twin-Cities-Pictu ... cture+show

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby twincitizen » May 22nd, 2013, 1:12 pm

Short of the Lagoon Theater being torn down for Mozaic Phase 2, there clearly is not demand for more theater in the area, whether on film or live.

LynLake has Cause for live music, Jungle Theater for plays, and Huge Theater for improv/comedy. It also has a vacant theater next to Herkimer.

Why do we hold former movie theaters to different standards than other vacant commercial spaces? No one's concerned that a former [shoe repair shop, book store, etc] space be used for that same type of commercial activity in perpetuity.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby John » May 22nd, 2013, 2:14 pm

^^^ Yes, agree totally. This theater has basically been vacant or underutilized for at least a couple decades. There have been many, many attempts to readapt it for other entertainment uses which have failed. I'm thrilled we now have a retailer with a realistic plan to use this wonderful space, which will then allow it to become a daily and active part of Uptown once again. We should be celebrating!

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby Minneboy » May 22nd, 2013, 5:31 pm

I like popular movies as much as the next person and I used to hate driving downtown, St. Louis Park or the MOA to watch them when I lived in Uptown. I also used to get pissed to have to drive to a Best Buy out of town. What the heck. I sure loved that little one Uptown used to have.

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Re: Vacant Historic Theaters in Uptown/LynLake

Postby mattaudio » May 22nd, 2013, 7:22 pm

Shopping at Best Buy and watching movies in theaters sounds so 2000s


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