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Demolition of the historic Terrace Theater began Saturday morning

The historic Terrace Theater in Robbinsdale is being torn down.
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The historic Terrace Theater in Robbinsdale is being torn down.

According to a news release from Friends of the Terrace, a group of people trying to save the building, the demolition of the 65-year-old theater began on Saturday morning.

Back in August, the city council there voted to tear down the Terrace to make room for a Hy-Vee grocery store and gas station. Theater lovers and preservationists desperately worked to save the theater.

Then Hy-Vee delayed their decision, telling the Star Tribune that they wanted the city and owner to decide the fate of the theater.

On the heels of an appeal

Friends of the Terrace filed an appeal on Thursday with the Minnesota Court of Appeals for an emergency injunction after Hennepin County District Judge Michael Browne denied their request for a temporary restraining order to stop the demolition.

Brad Nyberg, the group's leader, told the Star Tribune that the appeal might be the last stand for the theater.

But with the courts adjourned for the weekend, Friends of the Terrace say that the property owner, Brixmor, "took advantage of the opening and began the demolition."

Robbinsdale City Councilman George Selmon confirmed with the group that Brixmor got a permit for the demolition late Friday afternoon.

And Robbinsdale City Manager Marcia Glick also told GoMN that she was not sure of the timing, but a permit was picked up late on Friday.

Witnesses at the site say they saw demolition crews removing chandeliers – and that they dropped and broke one in the process.

The city posted an update to their Facebook page on Saturday afternoon, displaying the Sputnik chandeliers and confirming that a contractor was on site.

In the post, the city said they had requested the light fixtures be moved to storage. They also stated other requests to save pieces of the theater had been made, including the sign on the tower, but that they were "not certain what is possible."

Robbinsdale recently conducted a survey that showed over 85 percent of respondents supported the Hy-Vee development proposal.

https://twitter.com/acceptedmystery/status/763465746361921536

The Terrace Theater sits on France Avenue North in Robbinsdale and opened in 1951.

In 1999, the Terrace Theater played its last film, and it has sat vacant ever since.

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