Hennepin Theatre

Read about the history and designation of the Hennepin Theatre historic landmark.


The Hennepin Theatre is a grand downtown entertainment venue with ornate interiors. 

  • Location: 910 Hennepin Avenue 
  • Neighborhood: Downtown West 



Circa 2002-2007





  • Architectural Style: Beaux Arts
  • Architects: Kirchhoff and Rose


  • Historic use: Theater
  • Current use: Theater


  • Construction date: 1920–21
  • Contractor: Thompson-Starrett Company


  • Area(s) of significance: Architecture; Performing Arts 
  • Period of significance: 1921–1945
  • Date of local designation: 1986
  • Designation: Exterior and interior auditorium
  • Date of National Register designation: 1996  

Historic profile

The Hennepin Theatre is a grand downtown entertainment venue with ornate interiors. 

The Orpheum Circuit opened the Hennepin in 1921. At the time, it was the second-largest vaudeville theater in the country. Major acts such as George Jessel, Jack Benny, and "Dainty June" Havoc performed there. When talking motion pictures replaced vaudeville in the 1930s, live orchestra became the Hennepin's primary entertainment. By the late 1950s, it was Broadway shows. Today's visitors enjoy a variety of music, theatre, meetings, and public service events.   

Kirchhoff and Rose designed this Beaux Arts style theater. The building layout includes a two-story lobby attached to a seven-story auditorium. The theater follows a gold, cream, and pale blue color scheme. There are wide arched doorways, terrazzo and carpet, chandeliers, and sculpted plaster ceilings. The auditorium has a high dome ceiling, curved floor seating, balcony boxes, red velvet curtains, and gold garland. The stage bends toward the audience.  

It is the largest surviving theater of its kind in the area. The original marquee on the theater was first replaced in 1933 from "Hennepin" to "Orpheum." The marquee was replaced again in 1948, and the Orpheum name remained. This is why the theater is called both names. 


Photo credit

  • 1930 photo: Lee Brothers, Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society 
  • Circa 2002-2007 photo: Courtesy of the Hennepin Theatre District

Work cited

  • Muriel Nord, "National Register of Historic Places Inventory–Nomination Form: Hennepin Theatre," December 1985
  • Susan Granger and Kay Grossman, “City of Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission Registration Form: Hennepin Theatre,” June 1996
  • Susan Granger and Kay Grossman, “National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Hennepin Theatre,” April 1995

Contact us

Community Planning & Economic Development

Historic Preservation




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415