Shubert Theater

You can read about the history and designation of the Shubert Theater historic landmark.






Historic Address: 22 Seventh Street North

Current Address: 516 Hennepin Avenue

Neighborhood: Downtown West

Construction Date: 1910

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: William Albert Swasey

Architectural Style: Beaux Arts

Historic Use: Culture/Recreation – Performing Arts Theater

Current Use: Vacant - Renovation

Date of Local Designation: 1990

Date of National Register Designation: 1995

Area(s) of Significance: Architecture; Social History

Period of Significance: 1910-1933

Historic Profile: Built in 1910 to accommodate The Shubert Theatrical Company of New York, the Shubert Theater is considered the oldest legitimate theater in Minneapolis. Initially located on Seventh Street, the theater’s main façade is a Beaux Arts design composed of glazed terracotta with a granite base. The theater’s auditorium, built without center aisles on all three levels of seating, has superb sight lines for viewing the stage and superior acoustics. However, drastic alterations in 1957 stripped the auditorium walls of decorative molder plaster trim which repeated the ionic order of the exterior façade thus preventing the interior from being historically designated. The Shubert Theater brought Broadway to Minneapolis in 1910, but has served several functions since.

From 1915 to 1934, the theater operated as a stock company house with actors from New York, then converted into a primarily vaudeville and burlesque showplace. For a brief period in the 1950s, it was owned by the Minneapolis Evangelical Association, but was soon re-opened as the Academy, a theater exclusively for motion pictures. The Shubert closed in 1982 and sat vacant on Seventh Street, the block later developed as Block E. Demolition of the historic theater was considered an option until the non-profit organization, Artspace Projects Inc., proposed to re-locate the 2,900-ton a quarter-mile to Hennepin Avenue for an estimated cost of $4 million.

Photo Credits:

1910, Sweet, 7 th Street site, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Hennepin Avenue site, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," April 1995.

Updated: February 2007

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