Lyceum Theatre

85 S. 11th Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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Additional Info

Architects: Arthur B. Chamberlin

Firms: Bertrand & Chamberlin

Styles: Neo-Classical

Previous Names: Minneapolis Auditorium

Nearby Theaters

Lyceum Theatre

Originally the first Minneapolis Auditorium Building, opened in 1905, the theatre was rebuilt and renamed the Lyceum Theatre, opening on October 25, 1924 with Blanch Sweet in “Tess of the Durbervilles”. It was managed by none other than showman S.L. “Roxy” Rothafel, who went on to open the Roxy Theatre in New York. The Lyceum Theatre sat around 1,800 and cost more than $350,000 to construct. A ballroom was also built into the building.

Originally a first-run house, the format was switched to roadshows during the 1930’s, starting in 1933.

The roadshow idea never became popular at the Lyceum Theatre, so by 1938, it had been reduced to screening “Birth of a Baby” which had been banned in many cities for its controversial footage. However, unlike the roadshow films, “Baby” drew full houses and had quite a long run.

By the 1940’s, however, legitimate theatre had replaced movies at the Lyceum Theatre, which such stars as Henry Fonda, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Quinn and Phil Silvers appearing onstage. When rent rose dramatically in the late-1950’s, the theatre closed was closed in August 1958.

For many years afterwards, the Lyceum Theatre housed a church. Around 1973, it was razed to make way for the new Orchestra Hall complex.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

teecee on March 10, 2005 at 8:39 pm

Theater at left in this 1956 photo:
View link

intern on July 21, 2005 at 6:55 pm

I’m looking for information that would connect S.L Rothapfel to the current Orpheum theatre. Can anyone help? Or I guess any information that would connect him to any of the Hennepin theatre trust buildings.

misterjoel on October 25, 2008 at 6:20 am

The world premiere of the motion picture “Martin Luther” was held at the Lyceum in 1953: View link

Supr8 on June 1, 2010 at 2:00 am

Here’s another photo, from 1912. Select page 116 at left: View link

Redwards1 on March 19, 2014 at 12:30 am

I saw The Most Happy Fellow at the Lyceum late 50s. It had a single balcony, the upper reaches far from the stage. It had an elevator to get to the rear section. Reserved seat tickets for this Broadway musical were $1.10 at the back of the balcony. It was a very bare auditorium, rather dark & in need of refurbishing.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 21, 2014 at 9:59 pm

The original architect of the Minneapolis Auditorium was Arthur B. Chamberlin of the firm of Bertrand & Chamberlin. I haven’t been able to discover the architect of the 1924 conversion of the house into the Lyceum Theatre, but according to this article in the December 27, 1924, issue of Exhibitors Trade Review, the $500,000 renovation was quite extensive, and involved replacing the old tiered galleries in the auditorium with a modern cantilevered balcony.

rivest266 on January 15, 2017 at 3:31 pm

This opened on October 25th, 1924. Grand opening ad in the photo section and

Found on

DavidZornig on November 4, 2018 at 11:06 pm

Address was 85 S. 11th Street. Confirmed by the Minnesota Historical Society, Hennepin Theatre Trust, WPA Guide to Minnesota and the Hennepin County Library Digital Collection link below.

Supr8 on November 4, 2018 at 11:38 pm

Demolition was closer to 1973 or 1974. Orchestra Hall was open with shows in 1975.

MichaelKilgore on April 5, 2021 at 1:06 am

Boxoffice, May 12, 1958: “The Lyceum will end its career as a theatre when it is turned into an evangelistic tabernacle after Ben Berger’s lease expires in August”

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