Meet the micro-cinema: 'Gray Duck Theater' opens in Rochester

The new concept combines a coffeehouse and a movie theater.
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A groundbreaking new approach to the movie theater has officially arrived in Minnesota.

On Friday, Gray Duck Theater & Coffeehouse opened in Rochester with a showing of Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush."

The 66-seat theater is the brainchild of Andy Smith, a Los Angeles native, and his Minnesotan wife Anna Smith, both of whom wanted to start "a vibrant and accepting film community in Rochester."

Driven by their love of film and "spaces that build community around film," the Smiths scoured the upper midwest for the ideal microcinema location, and eventually found a commercial property listing that drew them to Rochester, according to Rochester Rising. 

Now, the site says, they're "purposefully" trying to make it a uniquely Minnesotan experience, with all the concessions (including popcorn and coffee) being locally sourced.

As the Star Tribune notes, the couple were also inspired by an article that said it's "possible to open a movie theater for $15,000."

The paper says the Gray Duck was made possible partly by the crowdfunding site IndieGoGo, as well as the physical labor of the Smiths themselves.

You can see them building the theater's movie screen in this time lapse video:

The plan is to screen films ranging from classics to documentaries; in the works for this summer is a series of showings "exploring the films of Audrey Hepburn," the Post Bulletin says.

You can check out their showtimes right here. 

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