France Avenue Drive-In

7800 France Avenue S.,
Minneapolis, MN 55435

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

rivest266 on September 17, 2023 at 11:27 pm

Heater policy promo:

CJ1949 on December 28, 2019 at 9:42 pm

Last known 70mm to run here was double bill of Poseidon Adventure and Tora Tora Tora, both in 70mm, in June 1973. Debut of screens #2 and #3 was 6-24-77. Projected screen image on #1 was reduced to match #2 and #3, the smaller screens. Closed Sunday 9-22-84 – – the three double features were: #1 Gremlins/Police Academy; #2 The Natural/The Woman in Red, #3: Revenge of the Nerds/Porky’s. Demolished in Nov. 1985. Demolition permit issued 9-30-85, with “finish date” of 1-6-86. “2001” played at least 3 times in 70mm, “Zhivago” and “Grand Prix” also had 70mm showings in 1970 and 1971. The last “winter” season was the winter of 1972-73; after that the France Ave Drive In operated only during the regular season.

davidcoppock on December 28, 2019 at 4:31 pm

PackerBacker do you remember what the movie(or movies) that was screened on the last night of operation, before the drive-in closed?

PackerBacker on August 27, 2019 at 6:31 pm

I closed the Mann “France Avenue” Drive-In after the 1982 season. I still have a couple of the car heaters and the Coca Cola sign that hung in the concession stand.

50sSNIPES on July 30, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Yes, This Was Previously Operated By Mann Theatres. I Also Found A Snipe Involving It.

davidcoppock on October 11, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Site is now the Minnesota Center office complex.

1Poordad on July 20, 2018 at 5:26 pm

Worked there in 69 to 70 when I was 14, $1.00 an hour cash. Mr Welch manager, Gene the assistant. Had some fun times back then!

rivest266 on January 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm

Grand opening ad at

Found on

and the photo section.

Romulan on October 6, 2015 at 3:58 am

I remember driving my roommate’s car out there with a bunch of us, probably in ‘66 – it was huge! I was used to small town drive-ins, like the one in Pine City (MN). I went to the snack bar & couldn’t find my way back to the car! As I was searching for that '57 Chevy, I saw a car with its lights on. I said to myself, “Some idiot left his lights on!” And then I realized the idiot was me. Good thing, or I might’ve ended up watching the movie sitting on the ground.

Jay Harvey
Jay Harvey on June 4, 2015 at 12:21 am

Wow, equipped for 70mm films!

RonRuneborg on June 3, 2015 at 3:15 am

Funny seeing Mark Campbell’s name after all these years. It was my first job that wasn’t newspaper. A dollar an hour. A bus to Southdale Center and then a damn long walk to work for a few buck and all the popcorn you could stomach.

ChevelleSSguy on March 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

This one must have only been a few miles from the Bloomington Drive-in or as I remembered it. The Southtown drive-in (I think thats what it was called there where the Southtown strip mall now sits).

bloomington1978 on July 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I worked there from around 1977
to 1980. Good times!

budyboy on May 3, 2011 at 3:10 am

Michael C will have a nervous breakdown with that comment……

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 2, 2011 at 2:47 am

Thanks Kwisp,how about some more stories.

kwisp on December 19, 2010 at 11:50 am

I worked there during the summer of 77-78 when they showed Star Wars during its initial run – very unusual for a drive-in. The line of cars would back up France all the way to Southdale and 494. They had a small kiddy park in front of the main screen but I don’t recall ever seeing it used. There was often fights and other shenanigans on the busy weekends, but that was half the fun of working there…reminds me of American Graffiti meets Animal House.

TLSLOEWS on October 14, 2010 at 4:28 am

1700 cars? Thats a pretty big drive-in.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 14, 2010 at 3:59 am

Not a bad looking Drive-in Ken.

TLSLOEWS on December 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm

Interesting that it only lasted 20 years.

EdinaHistoryMuseum on November 5, 2008 at 4:01 pm

The Edina Historical Society is looking for more information, stories and photos about France Avenue Drive In for an upcoming exhibit on early suburban Edina. (Yes, the theater was located in neighboring Bloomington, but just over the border, and was a part of community life here.)

Please call the Edina History Museum at 612-866-4581 with your contact info. Thank you!
Marci Matson, Director

MarkCampbell on October 30, 2007 at 10:18 pm

Jensen has it right, they started as one screen big house. (I worked there from 66-69.) It was built on an old dump, and the concession stand and attached projection booth kept settling. In the mid ‘70s when they had to rebuild the booth, they added screens in the NW and SW corners and added west directed projector and converted it to a tri-plex. In my day, it was open 365 days a year and in Minnesota that meant pole mounted car-heaters. Lots of maintenance…

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 8, 2007 at 8:00 pm

I meant 150 ft., of course … sorry.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on October 8, 2007 at 7:59 pm

Wow – that screen was 15o ft. wide, and curved for Cinerama:

Michele41 on July 9, 2007 at 2:43 am

That was party central until they ripped it down.