• The Uptown Theatre Gets a Facelift

    Comfort, style and a liquor license are added to a local landmark.

    FROM THE Summer 2013 ISSUE

Uptown Theatre has been an iconic and popular location both for events and movie screenings, but after years of use and abuse, uncomfortable and cramped became better adjectives to describe the local arts hub.

"It was not the most comfortable theater in the world for a lot of patrons," says Hugh Wronski, Landmark Theatres’ senior regional publicist (Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago). "The seats got pretty old, and the older audience, in particular, wanted a more comfortable theater."

After an approximate $2-million, six-month-long renovation, the theater reopened Sept. 14 and, according to Wronski, feedback on the remodel has been generally positive. "People are delighted," Wronski says. "They’re delighted we’re open again and it’s much more comfortable."

The venue’s facelift included a completely redone lobby, theater and bar area, a redesigned snack bar, wider, comfier seating and love seats in the front row of the balcony. But the touchups and new facets that are going to work best for events include a new liquor license that gives the theater the ability to now sell alcohol, a digital projection that is more compatible for presentations and a much larger screen.

Wronski says the screen allows for an easier interface for anything related to computer content, including Blu-ray showings and PowerPoint presentations. Video games can also be connected to the screen.

The theater doesn’t have set pricing for events; rather it’s determined on a case-by-case basis. Late-night or morning events are easier for the venue, as it’s difficult to bump a show, and the theater shows films typically from 1 p.m. to midnight.

Even with its renovations and remodels, the Uptown Theatre still retains the same charm it always has. "I’m just delighted to see it’s still a movie theater," says Wronski. "It’s one of the few single-screen-only theaters in the Twin Cities. It’s a great place to see movies."

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