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Saint Anthony Main Theatre

2006 Photo from the Carroll H. Rasch collection.
115 Main St SE
Minneapolis MN 55414
(612) 331-4723

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Record #2393  
 Opened: November 22, 1985
Capacity: 1068 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Engler Theatres, United Artists Theatres, City Cinemas

Information for this tour was contributed by Steve Scott.

St. Anthony Main was constructed in 1984 along the Mississippi River, on Minneapolis' oldest street. The name of the theatre refers to the original retail & dining mall which the city opened that year, just north of downtown in the historic Old St. Anthony neighborhood. Prior to the mall's opening, Main Street was lined with warehouses, flour & grain mills and was only home to one restaurant. The new complex was mostly new buildings, but incorporated several existing historic structures in its stretched-out mall.

The theatre was designed by the city & built by Engler Theatres, who had bowed and closed the IDS Center Theatre, also in downtown, some years earlier. The theatre has two downstairs auditoria, three upstairs with lobbies for each floor. By the end of 1983, just before the theatre was slated to bow, Engler announced their bankruptcy & the lease was sold to UA.

UA inherited most of Engler's equipment from their other existing theatres, such was most of the equipment that originally made up St. Anthony Main. UA operated the theatre under the name The Movies at St. Anthony Main until the mid-nineties when they merged with Regal & the St. Anthony Main lease was sold to Reading Entertainment of New York City. Reading had intended to turn the theatre into an Angelika Film Center, but never advanced the location past anything but their City Cinemas name. Conflicts with Landmark Cinemas over contracts for Independent content set a deal in the late nineties when Reading agreed to allow Landmark exclusivity in the Minneapolis indie market in exchange for Reading's contracts in NYC.

Reading was unsuccessful at operating the theatre under the terms of the lease, leaving the theatre after staff issues in early 2003. At this time, mall owner John Rimarcik took over operation of the theatre with partner Bill Carter & manager Irv Braverman. The theatre became the only location for new enterprise Stone Arch Cinemas, named for the historic bridge, blocks from the mall. Since then, St. Anthony Main has beecome a seven-day-a-week, matinee & evening first-run theatre, occasionally hosting Atomic Midnights, several film festivals and local films. The mall has also transformed into an office complex with several varieties of dining.

Since its opening, the theatre has been transformed in many ways. The red on burgundy walls became green on red. Three auditoriums had seats replaced entirely. The large auditorium had an old Norelco AAII projector replaced with a Simplex XL and DTS-ES digital sound for The Phantom Menace. UA's old equipment has mostly been phased out for better performing components. Most of Engler's old equipment is still in service, including a Century C from the old Hopkins main auditorium in #2.

Current auditorium capacities are as follows:
1. 277 - DTS
2. 222 - Dolby Stereo
3. 229 - Dolby SR
4. 185 - Mono
5. 155 - Mono

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

September 2022 photos from the Kevin Fox collection.

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August 2006 photos from the Carroll H Rasch collection.

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 8/30/2023.

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