Exterior and Interior
Heart of the Beast Theater
Address: 1500 Lake Street East
Neighborhood: Midtown Phillips
Construction Date: 1924 /1937
Contractor: Ekman, Holm & Co.
Architect: Ekman, Holm & Co.
Architectural Style: Streamline Moderne
Historic Use: Culture/Recreation – Motion Picture Theater
Current Use: Culture/Recreation - Motion Picture Theater
Date of Local Designation: 1990
Date of National Register Designation: N/A
Area(s) of Significance: Architecture
Period of Significance: 1924-
Historic Profile: Architecturally, the Avalon Theater is impressive with its Kosota stone façade, marble decoration, and Streamline Moderne styling. The stark black and white marquee and its lighting add additional visual aesthetic to the structure. The western half of the Avalon’s site has been a movie theater since 1909, first with silent films, then showing "talkies" after 1927. A well traveled streetcar route brought many patrons to the movie theater through the 1950s. However, the disabling of the streetcar system and the increasing popularity of television led to the decline of the Avalon Theater. In 1957, the theater changed its service from family fare to X-rated movies. However, in 1985, even those shows were discontinued. The Heart of the Beast Theater, the current tenant, has restored the theater and helped to establish its prominence on Lake Street.
2006, Minneapolis CPED
City of Minneapolis, "Local Heritage Preservation Designation Study," September 1986.
Updated: February 2007
Last updated May 17, 2017