Uptown Theater

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


Interior and Exterior





Address: 2900 Hennepin Avenue

Neighborhood: East Isles

Construction Date: 1939

Contractor: Unknown

Architect: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Architectural Style: Streamlined 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; invention

Period of Significance: 1900 -

Historic Profile: The Uptown Theater is architecturally significant as an urban, large-scale example of theater design in the Streamline Moderne Style. Modernization of the building, originally constructed in 1916, occurred in 1939 under the supervision of the architectural team of Liebenberg and Kaplan. The Uptown Theater features the first three-sided vertical tower sign on a movie theater in the United States. Bearing the theater’s name on each of its three sides and rising to a height of sixty feet, complete with a flashing beacon, the tower’s intent was to attract attention to the theater in the midst of a busy commercial district. During the 1990s, the owners acquired the plans from the 1939 renovation and restored the lobby and the second floor lounge areas. In addition, the auditorium’s side walls are adorned with re-created carved murals of Acousti-Celotex, a fibrous material created from sugar cane which reduces echoes by absorbing sound. One mural depicts early explorers gazing upon the future of Minneapolis while the other shows a giant Father of the Waters presiding over a group of water sprites symbolizing the lakes of Minneapolis.

Photo Credits:

1980, courtesy of The Minnesota Historical Society

2006, Minneapolis CPED

Works Cited:

"National Register of Historic Places – Nomination Form," June 1983.

Updated: February 2007

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