7th Street Theatre

25 S. 7th Street,
Minneapolis, MN 55403

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Orpheum Circuit

Architects: Serenus Colburn, Frederick (Franklin) Kees

Firms: Kees & Colburn

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Previous Names: Orpheum Theatre

Nearby Theaters

7th Street Theatre

Minneapolis' first Orpheum Theatre opened October 22, 1904, an elegant and luxurious Beaux-Arts building built for the Orpheum vaudeville circuit.

Seating around 1,490, the Orpheum Theatre’s impressive facade of limestone and terra cotta featured the circuit’s name boldly inscribed above the two-story colonnade above the main entrance, which was covered by a simple glass-and-iron canopy marquee. In the early years, the only signage on the first Orpheum Theatre was the theater’s name in large letters on the rooftop, illuminated by lightbulbs at night.

Among the many big-name performers in the Orpheum Theatre’s vaudeville days was Houdini, in his first Minneapolis appearance, in 1915.

When the Orpheum circuit built the much larger and more ornate Hennepin Theatre in 1921, they made that theatre their new Minneapolis home a year later, renaming it the Orpheum Theatre. The first Orpheum Theatre reopened August 27, 1922 as the 7th Street Theatre, and switched over to movies.

The 7th Street Theatre closed in 1940, and was torn down soon after, a sad ending for a still-beautiful and usable theater.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

William on April 20, 2005 at 9:11 am

The Seventh Street Theatre opened on October 22nd, 1904.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2009 at 1:19 am

The first Orpheum was designed by the architectural firm of Kees & Caldwell. The same firm later designed the Loring Theatre and the Stimson Building, the two-floor commercial block associated with B. Marcus Priteca’s Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 22, 2009 at 2:46 am

Oy. I meant Kees and Colburn, of course. Where did Caldwell come from? I need to get more sleep.

rivest266 on January 14, 2017 at 7:33 pm

August 27th, 1922 grand opening ad as 7th St. in the photo section.

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