Hollywood Theater

The Hollywood Theater opened it’s doors on Johnson Street in NE Minneapolis in 1935, and has been closed since 1987. It’s in rough shape, but has recently been re-opened on a limited basis for some theatrical performances. And the local arts television show MN Original recently filmed a nice performance by local musician Mason Jennings in the theater, in which the theater’s beautifully decrepit interior plays a starring role.

It was designated a local historic landmark in 1990 and the city of Minneapolis has owned it since 1993. There have been many redevelopment plans discussed over the years, but nothing has happened so far. It would be an amazing space if it were renovated and re-opened as a live-performance theater.

Another feature of the part of NE Minneapolis I call home is the resident flock of wild turkeys that roam the streets, sidewalks and yards. They’re frequently seen outside the local coffee shop and corner restaurant, or sitting on the small strip of grass next to the craft store, in front of the funeral home, or even sitting on the park benches lining the sidewalk.  They’re quite used to the people and cars around, and take their sweet time crossing the street. They’ve become symbols of our little corner of NE Minneapolis. As I was taking the Hollywood Theater photos above, they wandered by, so I had to snap a shot of them in the street.

The second photo of the theater was taken with my Super Ricohflex on Portra 400 film, and the rest were shot on my Retina IIIc, also on Portra 400. The third photo — the straight-on shot — was cropped square from the 35mm frame because I liked the composition better, and straightened a bit in Lightroom. The first image, taken with the Retina, was adjusted in Lightroom — I added some Recovery to darken the sky that was a bit washed out, and a little fill light to brighten up the darker areas under the overhang. It gives it a little bit of an HDR look, I think, but hopefully not too much — I tried not to over-do it.  I’m always amazed at how much detail can be pulled out of the highlights and shadows on a good scan of a negative.

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2 Comments on “Hollywood Theater”

  1. Jim says:

    I like the gritty feel of the shots you took with your Retina.

  2. Jesse says:

    Reminds me of the 4th Avenue Theater here in Anchorage. Some development company owns it and is going to let it rot until they can get some tax breaks to demolish it and sell the land for a high-rise, is my guess. Sad.


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