But first the Hooters went, then the arcade. Eventually the Applebee’s and the Hard Rock and the burrito vendor and the Cold Stone and the Mrs. Fields all departed, leaving the AMC theater to singlehandedly represent the indoor shopping center with its red decor, long ago chosen by brand specialists to mimic Hollywood glamour.
The fanfare at Hennepin and Lagoon began as Ira Glass and Mike Birbiglia entered to premier the latter’s new film. Exclusive tickets were sold only to MPR members. They entered to the 2012 definition of movie theater glamour: a single screen with a digital projector, ample legroom, pre-assigned seating, restored art deco-era murals, and a beer-and-wine license. A far cry from its semi-dingy predecessor, the Uptown’s insides had been gutted, and a theater that in 2011 could hold more than 800 cinephiles had been reduced in a matter of months to 357 plush leather armchairs with very nice cupholders. Its grand marquee remained, the potential canvas for smartass underpaid employees to Hennepin Avenue, but three films into its run, there have been no jokes, not about The Master or Perks of Being a Wallflower— both of which are such easy targets.
In the first Successes and Failures essay, I am writing about movie theaters in Minneapolis. It will be ready this weekend or soon thereafter. Do you want to read it? Join here.
EDIT: I did not take this photo and spent all night feeling guilty that I hadn’t credited it. It is from here. Sorry, photographer.