Arion Theatre

2316 Central Avenue,
Minneapolis, MN 55418

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Publix Theaters Corporation

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Nearby Theaters

ARION Theatre; Minneapolis, Minnesota, mid-1950s.

The Arion Theatre opened in 1914 with seating listed at 934. There was another Arion Theatre a couple blocks from this theatre, but it preceeded this theatre.

The Arion Theatre was operated by Publix and later Minnesota Amusement Co.

The theatre was remodeled in 1923, to the plans of Liebenberg & Kaplan. It was later demolished. Any further information on the Arion Theatre would be appreciated

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

rvarani on April 2, 2010 at 6:09 pm

The Arion was still operating in the mid 1950’s. Pulled a few shifts in the projection booth 1956-57.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

The Arion Theatre underwent an extensive remodeling project in 1953. The modern design was done by the architectural firm of Liebenberg & Kaplan, according to Boxoffice of January 6, 1954.

Photos on this page, text on the following page.

LAMartin on May 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

According to Dave Kenney in Twin Cities Picture Show: A Century of Moviegoing, published in 2007 by the Minnesota Historical Society, Page 75, Kaplan & Liebenberg were contracted by Seeman Kaplan’s brother and Arion Theatre owner, to renovate the theater in 1923.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2012 at 1:37 pm

The address currently given for this theater is wrong. There is an old building housing the Durango Bakery at 2418 Central Avenue, and next door is a Thai restaurant, Sen Yai Sen Lek, at 2422 Central. The building with the bakery is obviously fairly old (probably 1920s era) and though the restaurant has a modern facade, satellite view shows that it occupies two small buildings, both of which have rather old-looking roofs. None of the three buildings with the number range 2418-2422 could have been a theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm

CinemaTour gives the address of the Arion Theatre as 2316 Central Avenue, and that is probably correct. This photo, which was probably taken a year or two before the 1953 remodeling, shows the theater at left. Although most of the buildings on both sides of the street have since been demolished, the three buildings immediately south of the theater’s site are still standing and can be recognized in Street View despite some remodeling. The building that was adjacent to the theater currently uses the address 2312 Central, so 2316 was most likely the Arion Theatre’s address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 9, 2012 at 2:07 pm

The October 12, 1918, issue of The Moving Picture World makes a reference to the New Arion Theatre. Is it possible that 2420 Central was the address of the original Arion Theatre, replaced by this house in the late 1910s? The original Arion Theatre could have been in the small building that houses the southerly half of the Thai restaurant with the current address of 2422 Central.

Incidentally, the book cited by LAMartin earlier says that the remodeling of the Arion Theatre in 1923 was Jack Liebenberg’s very first theater project. His next theater, and the first designed from the ground up by Liebenberg & Kaplan, was the Granada.

CJ1949 on September 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Correct address for Arion Theatre was 2316 Central Ave., Mpls. Building permits show that a 48x108 building was built here in 1914. Liebenberg & Kaplan’s first theatre job was this one, a remodel in 1923. There was also a major remodel in 1953 while it was closed during the spring and summer, after Paramount dropped the theatre. It was picked up by the operator of the Hollywood Theatre and reopened in August 1953. Closed April 1958, was converted. 1959 city directory says occupant was “Roberts Co. Clothing Rental.” There were lawsuits about many of the North Mpls. theatres’ clearances during the 1930s and 40s. The Arion went to a 28 or 35 day clearance in 1950 but in 1952 was dropped back to double bills and late runs. To put it simplistically, the lawsuits stemmed from the Hollywood and Homewood theatres, among others, that complained they were not able to get the same run as the Paradise and Arion.

Jordy on July 6, 2013 at 12:31 pm

Oh what memories. I grew up in this theatre. My mother would have to come and drag me out, walking up and down the aisles with a flashlight!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 26, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Dave Kenney’s Twin cities Picture Show tells how Liebenberg & Kaplan got the job of remodeling the Arion Theatre in 1923. The Arion was then owned by Louis Rubenstein and Abe Kaplan, and Abe Kaplan was architect Seeman Kaplan’s brother. It was a serendipitous bit of nepotism that launched Liebenberg & Kaplan’s long, distinguished career as theater architects.

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