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» Cinematour Forum   » Cinemas and Theatres   » NO # Cinema Theater: Detroit Lakes, MN

   
Author Topic: NO # Cinema Theater: Detroit Lakes, MN
Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted May 17, 2005 08:08 PM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
Cinema Theater (The Lake Theater)
917 Washington Avenue
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501
1986 phone number: 847-9463

This theater is NOT on the cinematour inventory list and has not been assigned a number. I think I get some sort of passing "HeyYa!" [moon]

Washington Avenue is the "Main Street" of Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.

The front of this theater has had its cosmetic look altered (for the worse). I cannot recall what the original front was. I am sure it is still there and hidden behind the metal siding look. The seats and sloping floor are gone. There are/were dining tables at the level of the balcony...and a stair brought diners to the level of the front seats. A bar stands/stood at the foot of the location of the screen.

This theater may have had other names. One lovely woman, who grew up in Detroit Lakes, believes it was known as the "Lake Theater" in the 1960s. It was known as the "Cinema Theater" in 1986 according to an old Detroit Lakes phone book dated '86. It was still operating in the 1980s. After it closed, t-shirts and lake country souvenir sweat shirts were sold there. (Detroit Lakes is a Minnesota Lake resort area and also hosts the largest outdoor country music festival in the summer called the "WE Fest.") It draws lots of tourists in summer. I think that Playboy Magazine even wrote it up in a feature on places for college students to get away to during Spring mating season. It was a "sports bar" type restaurant most recently. It was called "The Becker." Detroit Lakes is in Becker County. I will check with the Becker County museum to see if they have any more information.

Pictures taken on May 17, 2005

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[ May 19, 2005, 12:55 PM: Message edited by: Carroll H. Rasch ]

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Ron Newman
Member

Posts: 145
From: Somerville, MA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted May 18, 2005 05:10 PM      Profile for Ron Newman   Email Ron Newman         Edit/Delete Post 
Is it "CLOSED" because it's out of season, because it's closed one day a week, or because it has gone out of business?

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Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted May 18, 2005 06:19 PM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
The Becker restaurant is Closed until further notice. Ole Jack Chivers...one of the local monuments in real estate, has two "For Sale" signs in the widows at kneecap level....That is as sure a sign that the business has died as a shark bite on a baby seal... as final as the Becker County Corner zipping up the body bag.... NO HOPE. <chuckle> I think it was a very nice and classy theater. Too bad.

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Roger Katz
Member

Posts: 339
From: Thomaston, CT
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted May 18, 2005 06:25 PM      Profile for Roger Katz   Email Roger Katz         Edit/Delete Post 
This was known as the Lake Theatre in the 1940's (and perhaps even earlier) as shown in an old FDY.

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Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted May 18, 2005 09:05 PM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
Great. Barbara's memory was good... She thought it was called "The Lake." You will have to get one of the Forum Fuherers to assign it a number...

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Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted August 11, 2006 08:55 AM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
There has been an attempt to reopen the restaurant/grill. Detroit Lakes, MN is a summer resort and play area that also hosts the very large "WE FEST." It is an outdoor country-music festival that sold out this year. It should come back to dining prosperity but, once a place closes, it is difficult to reopen. Customers have developed new habits.

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Scott D. Neff
Tour Guide

Posts: 661
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted August 11, 2006 05:10 PM      Profile for Scott D. Neff   Email Scott D. Neff         Edit/Delete Post 
Send an e-mail to newsroom@cinematour.com to get a listing added. Please send the original photos to that address as well and they will be added to the update queue.

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Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted September 11, 2006 08:52 AM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
Cheryl Gossell
Funeral services for Cheryl Lynn Gossell, 50, of Frazee were held on Monday, March 6, 2006 at the David-Donehower Funeral Home in Detroit Lakes. Cheryl passed away on Thursday, March 2 at St. Mary's Regional Health Center in Detroit Lakes under the care of Hospice of the Red River Valley. Cheryl was born on October 7, 1955 in Moorhead to Lyle and Ellen (Weippert) Thorsvig. She grew up in Moorhead and later in Eveleth where she attended school. Cheryl moved to Detroit Lakes in 1975.She was united in marriage with Bruce Gossell March 30, 1987 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Following their marriage, they lived near Detroit Lakes and she managed the Cinema Theater there. Cheryl enjoyed fishing, boating, and gardening. She loved her cats. Cheryl had worked for Swift Company in Detroit Lakes and System Tackle in Lake Park. For the past ten years, she had worked in her home for Northland Tackle of Bemidji. The past two years, she had courageously fought a battle with cancer. She was preceded in death by her parents; one daughter, Tambrie. Cheryl is survived by her husband, Bruce Gossell of Frazee; three daughters, Kaitlyn at home, Amy Perkins (Daron) of New Orleans, Louisiana and Sue Ellen Noland of Detroit Lakes; one son, Carl at home; three sisters, Debra Niemann of Lake Park, Kathrine Anderson of Phoenix, Arizona, Pamela Johnson (Walter) of Detroit Lakes; two brothers, Robert Thorsvig (Luann) of Frazee and James Thorsvig of Detroit Lakes; and five grandchildren.

note to CinemaTour staff: I did send these three pictures to the newsroom for posting in the proper place. Thanks for the verification and suggestion. CHR

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The Evil Sam Graham
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Posts: 85
From: Des Moines, IA
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted September 23, 2006 05:39 PM      Profile for The Evil Sam Graham   Author's Homepage   Email The Evil Sam Graham         Edit/Delete Post 
Regarding the neighboring business...Why would Donald Trump own a framing store...much less one in Detroit Lakes?

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Adam Martin
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Posts: 1090
From: Dallas, TX
Registered: Feb 2003


 - posted September 23, 2006 05:47 PM      Profile for Adam Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Adam Martin         Edit/Delete Post 
Location, Location, Location! [Rolling on Floor Laughing]

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Craig Heupel
New Member

Posts: 1
From: Minot, ND
Registered: Dec 2004


 - posted September 25, 2006 08:05 PM      Profile for Craig Heupel   Email Craig Heupel         Edit/Delete Post 
Hello Mr. Rasch,

I am from Minot, ND and while growing up, I went to the Empire and Starlite Theater. I was hoping that you had some photos of the Empire, especially the interior. I remember opening night of Smokey and the Bandit 2 at the Empire, sitting in the front row of the balcony, the Empire was at capacity! I have been trying to find another theater like that, which brought me to this site. I would appreciate whatever info or photos you have.
THANK YOU
CRAIG HEUPEL

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Carroll H. Rasch
New Member

Posts: 25
From: Saint Louis Park, MN
Registered: Apr 2005


 - posted December 11, 2006 03:29 PM      Profile for Carroll H. Rasch   Email Carroll H. Rasch         Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Craig:
I do not have any pictures of the interior. Elite Studio photographer Steinberg left a ton of his photos of Main Street to his sons. I am hoping to see some of them sometime to see if he has pictures of the theaters on old Main Street. The Orpheum was down in the vacant lot nest to the Soo Line depot. The Strand Theater was up the block on the west side of the street. I drove the alley last time, looking for traces of its exact location on the 60 year old remains of signage... I spent a lot of time in that alley when it was enclosed by the Fire House, B & B sporting goods... the cafes and resaurants that once lined Ist. Street West. I think it was on the Osco Drug block.

I was a school patrol kid in grades 5 and 6. We were rewarded by Officer (Carroll) Long each week by being given Saturday Afternoon Matinee tickets at the Strand theater. When we got into the Strand Theater (no balcony) every seat was filled with 5th and 6th graders... The noise level was pretty intense. The reward was scores of films starring Gene Autrey, Roy Roger, Hoppy, the Bowrey Boys, endless deliciously violent cartoons of the Old School... Bugs Bunny was ruthless. Also, there were Zorro serials and esp... BUCK ROGERS !!!! It had a great lighted awning and the interior was well worn. I recall raffles on stage in front of the screen ... A barrel with a crank on one end to mix the tickets....

I wish I had better memories of the Orpheum. Lots black and white films about whaling and oil well drilling.. honet. It has a sad reputatation... rumor had it that there were rats that scurried under your feet for the dropped popcorn. I don't know if it is a true story but, it kept my mother away.

Up the block and under the current location of the Wells Fargo Bank was the first run and highly regared STATE THEATER. It was luxurious and brass and deco and very nice....lots of maroon and velour...It had a balcony I think. It was torn down and gave way to the EMPIRE Theater up the block and the reign of Hap Haslo...who managed it for years. Miss Minot pagents, raffles, attempts at "high culture" (Haslo tried so hard to get a great city wide turnout for "The Tales of Hoffman).... I sat in the front row and watched many showings of "Bridge on the River Kwai" on that huge EMPIRE screen. I remember wiggling in my seat at the amazing Chariot race of "Ben Hur." Mostly, I was there to see the Sea Battle. I remember complete befuddlement about the reaction to Elivs Pressley in that venue. Girls would lift their feet and curl up in the seats and scream non-stop for the whole film. They did the same thing for Pat Boone...which was completely lost on me. ( I grew into a Marlon Brando fan...)

They held "Horror Night" on almost every Friday 13 at the Empire. The theater was completely filled.... for Frankenstein films.. "The Wolf Man"...one episode in the Canadian Woods... lots of Poe stuff... BUT the GREAT MEMORY was that Hap Haslo would hire some "fools" to dress up like Frankenstein and other monsters. These guys would walk down the aisles in the dark... touching people and scaring people in their seats... not their butts... in the theater seats... WELL, daring boys from within the airline hanger sized auditorium would scoot toward these poor guys in the dark..darting and hiding and physically assault the actors within the costumes.. It got so bad that Haslo had to drop the this feature.

But, the best: I spent every Saturday afternoon from grade 9 through grade 11 in the balcony watching every first run film for three years... I recall seeing every Rock Hudson-Doris Day film... and sitting with Patricia S. and her buddy Punky N. I had such a crush on Patricia... She is the one I pulled the looooonnnngg stretch that turns into resting your arm on the back of her chair and gradually moving it 1/4 th inch at a time until my palm would be on her right arm... I was ... well... I practiced on Patricia.... The Empire was wonderful. There have to be pictures somewhere in Minot. The opening of the Empire was huge. I don't trust that the Minot Daily News has much of a morgue. I have tried to get addresses from the library but have always run out of time... So many of my Minot links have disolved due to funerals.. I am never sure when I will get back there. It is a wonderful town with a GREAT history..mostly hidden... It was Capone country... real liquor from Europe and Canada came across the border in the 1920s to be moved east to Minneaplis and Chicago... It was said that the best street of Prostitution between Chicago and Seattle was "High Third" (Third Street West).... behind the bakery... There must have been 40 to 50 hotels... and, those four wonderful theaters served us all.... ahhh senile rapture... [Uh-oh]

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