Petition to save Robbinsdale's Terrace Theater

It was once one of the nicest movie theaters in the country, and now there's a push to save the worn Robbinsdale, Minn. landmark.

“This have been where the offices were located and this was our box office area,” David Leonhardt explained.

For him, the Terrace Theater is the star of his fondest memories.

"A lot of people who met here ended up getting married,” he said – including himself.

Now, he’s trying to make some movie magic of his own by saving the historic theater from the wrecking ball.

"It was the best that theater had to offer at that time, and it could be again,” he said.

When it opened in 1951, the Terrace was one of the most luxurious theaters in the country.

With a giant lobby, a sunken den and fireplace and its own TV lounge, the 1,300-seat theater was considered a masterpiece of mid-century architecture, its marquee a beacon that drew movie goers from miles around.

"The Terrace has always been a huge part of Robbinsdale's identity. From the 50s when it opened, people would come from across the country to look at the theater and replicate it in their home town,” he said.

But by the 80s and 90s, the Terrace was a second-rate theater showing second-run movies and it ultimately closed in 1999. Since then, the only visitors have been urban explorers, and the plush seats and ornate fixtures have gone the way of silent movies.

"The theory is it was purchased with another theater. The people who purchased them didn't really want the terrace and one day they just closed the door on the employees,” he said.

Leonhardt, however, believes the terrace is ready for a sequel, giving the city council a petition with nearly 2,200 signatures to prevent it from being demolished and trying to get the building declared a historic landmark with the hope of one day refurbishing and re-opening it, which could cost millions of dollars.

"From a personal standpoint it would be fantastic to see it come back. As an elected official we'll have to take a wait and see approach,” Robbinsdale City Council member Pat Backen said.

Our hero isn’t giving up on his quest just yet. In fact, he's hoping for a Hollywood ending all his own.

"It’s an iconic piece of Robbinsdale's history and it needs to be a piece of its future,” Leonhardt said.

The theater's owner, the Brixmore Property Group, has yet to return calls for comment.

Links to save the historic theater-

Up Next:

  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories you may be interested in – includes advertiser stories