Hippodrome Theatre

2 N. Main Street,
Minot, ND 58703

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Grand Opera House

Nearby Theaters

The Minot Daily News reported in an ‘Our Yesterdays’ column Martin Jacobsen’s Opera House opened December 20, 1902. It was on the second and third floors of a building where the Union National Bank would open May 5, 1905, on the first floor. The American Motion Picture Directory 1914-15 lists it as Opera House and the Daily News as the Grand Opera House. It was said to seat 400 on the main floor and 200 in the gallery.

On October 29, 1917, an advertisement in the Minot Daily News announced a name change to Hippodrome Theatre. Playing vaudeville with movies after the change there was “Birth of a Nation” and Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”. Other theatres in Minot at the time were the Arcade Theatre, Lyceum Theatre, Orpheum Theatre and Strand Theatre.

On July 9, 1923, a $250,000 fire described in the Ward County Independent as the most disastrous fire in Minot history, destroyed a section of the main business district. Going up in flames was the Union National Bank Block, at one time known as the Opera House Block.

Quick to rebuild, the Union National Bank reopened at the location on March 29,1924, without a theatre. The bank vacated the building in 1963 and the Taube Museum of Art now makes a home in the building.

In 1961 the Daily News remembered British actor Boris Karloff as acting in a stock company for over a year at the opera house. Karloff appeared on the television show ‘This Is Your Life’ in 1957. J. Warren Bacon, whose father was a former opera house manager, came to Los Angeles and exchanged memories with Mr. Karloff and gave him a photograph of the house he had resided in during his stay.

Contributed by Ron Pierce

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

robboehm on February 11, 2023 at 10:40 am

Ron, now that you’ve mentioned the Lyceum and Strand Theatres, I trust you’ll add them since they are not on Cinema Treasures.

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