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Minneapolis Hennepin Theatre District Takes You Back in Time

Orpheum, Rock Bottom Brewery, Vaudeville

Minneapolis Minnesota has always been known for it’s thriving theatre scene. Bringing it back to where it all began, the Hennepin Theatre District features 3 historic theatres that provide quality entertainment in gorgeous houses.

The largest of the three theatres, The Historic Orpheum theatre in downtown Minneapolis is a fine place to see a concert, play, or other type of show. This theatre was built in the early 1920’s and it’s elegance and grandeur has been restored. Back in the early 1980’s, previous owners had modernized, and slightly destroyed the place by draping or painting over grand, guilded beautiful architecture. In the 1990’s it was restored to it’s beautiful old glory. The place is huge; it seats 2400 people, with it’s main floor and balcony seating. When you walk into the huge theatre and get a glimpse of its guilded ceiling and huge chandeliers, you will feel like you are taking a step back into the old vaudeville days of 1930. Many larger concerts and Broadway shows are played here, everything from Jerry Seinfeld to the Lion King. Refreshments including coffee, wine, beer, mixed drinks, and juice may be purchased and enjoyed during the shows.

The second largest, and perhaps most commonly used, is the State Theatre. The Historic State Theatre is also located in Downtown Minneapolis on Hennepin Avenue. This theatre was built in the 1920’s and has old fashioned theatre elegance. It was restored in the 1990’s to its former beauty. The State Theatre is a great place to see a concert, play, or other special event. You can also rent the upstairs balcony lobby for dinner parties or work functions before or after a show. The State Theatre is smaller than the Orpheum, so it is used for slightly smaller events. The theatre is still just as beautiful as it’s sisters. Its lobby is more casual and easier to pop in and out of than the Orpheum. It is conveniently located very near Rock Bottom Brewery and Palamino restaurants, for before or after show dining. Treat yourself to a show at the State! You won’t be disappointed.

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The third theatre is called the Pantages Theatre. It has just been recently renovated and restored to it’s former glory. Check out the interesting historical display located in the basement. This display highlights information about the theatre’s past; from it’s days of vaudeville to it’s cinema days. The display has pictures of the theatre as it was remodeled, and restored. The Pantages offers smaller plays, concerts, ballets, and other shows. Although not used nearly as often as it’s sister theatres, the Orpheum and the State, the Pantages is just as beautiful and elegant. It has a smaller house than either of its bigger sisters. It was restored in recent years to its beautiful blue decor. It has a lobby with a more modern style bar. The theatre offers main floor and balcony seating. Take the back stairs to catch a glimpse of how badly decayed the theatre was, before they remodeled it. They kept up some of the old wall paper for people to see the before and after.

The Hennepin Theatre District has several surrounding parking ramps. My favorite is the ramp located directly across the street from the Orpheum Theatre. It is connected to a school, and is very safe and well light. Many restaurants are located near the theatres, which make for an excellent night out.