Community Planning & Economic Development

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Hennepin Avenue Theater District

Historic Orpheum, State, Pantages and Hennepin Stages Theatres

910, 805, 824, 700 Hennepin Avenue

Background:

As part of a master plan to turn Hennepin Avenue into the region’s premier theater district, the City has invested millions in the past decade to bring these theaters back to life. The City purchased the 1921 Historic Orpheum Theatre in 1988 and extended the stage; brought back the marquee; restored terra cotta walls, friezes, plaster reliefs, sculptures and murals; and added a 2,000-pound Italian chandelier. The result is a dazzling premier stage for theatrical productions and concerts. The theater opened in 1993.

Also owned by the City, the Historic State Theatre was restored to past grandeur, with a marquee stretching across the entire façade and an architectural mix of Italian Renaissance, Byzantine, and Moorish elements. The theater opened in 1991.

In 2001, the City acquired the Pantages Theatre and Stimson Building. The Pantages Theatre fronts Hennepin Avenue just south of Seventh Street and is surrounded by the Stimson Building on two street sides. The City renovated both the Pantages and the Stimson Building under general contract. The Pantages Theater reopened for productions in 2002.

In 2005, the City entered into a 30-year lease agreement with Hennepin Theatre Trust for ongoing management (including capital improvements) and operation of the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres. The partnership includes Historic Theatre Group, Ltd. and Clear Channel/SFX Entertainment through management and consulting agreements with the Trust.

In early 2007, the City sold the Stimson Building for $2.8 million to Stimson Partners LLC for renovation and conversion to a restaurant.

In 1995, the City leased 824 Hennepin Avenue to the owners of Hey City Theater to redevelop the vacant storefront into a new 250-seat theater. The City acquired the property for $500,000 and provided a $700,000 loan for renovation. In October 2007, the City issued a Request for Proposals for the purchase and potential redevelopment of 824 Hennepin , also known as Hennepin Stages.

Financing: 

$22.225 million in new revenue bond financing for the renovation of the Pantages Theater as well as capital improvements at the Orpheum and State Theaters.

The bonds for renovation are being paid through a ticket surcharge.

Contact:

CPED Project Coordinator Emily Stern, (612) 673-5191.

For information about upcoming events at the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres, visit the Hennepin Theatre District Website .

Information subject to change.

January 2008

Last updated Oct 28, 2011

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