Suburban World Theater for Sale

Featured, Real Estate — By on February 7, 2012 1:10 pm
Suburban World Theater is for Sale

The Suburban World Theater in Uptown Minneapolis is for sale.

Remember the sign on the outside of the theater not long ago about the Suburban World Theater being closed for renovations? Well, sources indicate that the renovation was required by the City, such as roof repairs. The property is now owned by the bank, presumably because the previous owner couldn’t make the required payments on the mortgage.

Now the Jesse Olson Group of Coldwell Banker Burnet has it listed for sale at $899,000. The listing says: “A truly unique venue. Built in classic Granada Style, with Spanish facades and original stars still illuminate from the ceiling. NOW BANK OWNED. Many Updates, including roof, electrical, plumbing and more.”

The building, located at 3022 Hennepin Avenue, has changed hands numerous times over the last 15 years or so. I remember when it was a Mann Theater, and yes, even saw Titanic there. After Mann closed, it has been a Cinema Grille and a random event house that the most recent owner operated. The interior is on the historic registry due to its Mediterranean-inspired walls and star-studded ceiling. The lighting inside is terrible for anything other than movie-watching but with the right operator, the space could be fantatic.

My dream would be for it to become an event center and concert hall like the Varsity Theater has become. Uptown could use more live music and performance, and the Suburban World Theater presents that opportunity.

Thatcher Imboden

How cities work and change, how they are the product of their inhabitants and outside forces, and the resulting livability keep me thinking and dreaming about the future. I work in transit oriented development and have a background in urban real estate development. I am Past President of an Uptown business organization, grew up in Uptown, was on an Uptown neighborhood association Board, and am an Uptown and Lyn-Lake historian.

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4 Comments

  1. Janne says:

    Yes – I like that idea. However, the financial viability of that space is a real challenge. It has major systems problems. I recall freezing my way through a brunch/movie a couple times because the heating system can’t keep it warm. Leaving with allergy craziness because of the mold – possibly from a leaky roof or other moisture issues. It’s going to take someone with brilliant ideas and deep pockets to be able to make the space physically comfortable for attendees, pay the mortgage, get the events to get people into the hall, and wait out the time it would take for people like me to forget our past less-than-pleasant experiences in the hall.

    • Trisha Lynn says:

      The brilliant idea? Turn it into a franchise of the Alamo Drafthouse cinema chain. Not that Hennepin really needs more places to eat, but it could use a place to eat, watch a movie, and have a drink at the same time.

  2. Madeline Douglass says:

    This item is on the June 4th 2013 HPC agenda…but only for discussion and apparently delayed as the applicant isn’t ready. Who bought the theater?
    What ARE their plans? “flat” floor sounds ominous.

    8. 3022 Hennepin Avenue, Granada Theater Landmark (Suburban World Theater) (Farrar)
    (Staff Memo)
    Concept review for the renovation and partial restoration of the Granada Theater. The project proposes to renovate the Granada Theater into a retail store and would include restoration of the exterior, removal of the kitchen area, restoration of the existing theater space walls and perimeter circulation, and introduction of a flat floor to facilitate retail store experience and center entry to the theater for visual connectedness.

    • Thatcher Imboden says:

      I don’t think the building has sold yet, but probably is in a purchase agreement and I assume it’s pending approval of the plans. Flat floor doesn’t make me too nervous unless it has a lot of impact on the historic components on the walls. Varsity has flat floor and has brought new life to the theater. Risers in the future could provide for a theater again should a theater-like entertainment option ever be viable there. But I am concerned about the renovation and what it could mean. Though it could be great, but more details needed.

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