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Walmart proposes replacing historic Minnesota drive-in theater site

The discount retailer has submitted plans to build a 177,000-square-foot Sueprcenter in Cottage Grove. If the city approves the new store, movie fans should have one more season at the Cottage View Drive-in this summer before construction begins. Only a handful of drive-in theaters are still open in Minnesota, but even without the Walmart proposal the future of the Cottage Grove location is uncertain.
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The discount retailer has submitted plans to build a 177,000-square-foot Sueprcenter in Cottage Grove. If the city approves the new store, movie fans should have one more season at the Cottage View Drive-in this summer before construction begins. Only a handful of drive-in theaters are still open in Minnesota, but even without the Walmart proposal the future of the Cottage Grove location is uncertain.

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The days are numbered for a summertime staple for movie fans in the southern Twin Cities metro. The Cottage Grove City Council voted unanimously Wednesday in favor of Walmart's plan to build a new SuperCenter store, the South Washington County Bulletin reports. It will be built on the site of the Cottage View Drive-In. After nearly five decades in business, the movie theater will permanently close in October.

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The final approval on proposed Walmart store in Cottage Grove has been put on hold. Walmart requested that city commission members delay making the recommendation so the store could address some unanswered questions. The proposed 78,000-square-foot store will be built on 22 acres of land occupied by the Cottage View Drive-In, one of the metro area's two remaining drive-in movie theaters.

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The Arkansas-based retailer is moving forward with proposals to put a new store on the site of the Cottage View Drive-In movie theater and the former site of Pov’s Sports Bar and Grill in Andover. Meanwhile, Walmart has four new stores already under construction in Brooklyn Center, Blaine, Burnsville and Lakeville.

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The Twin Cities were once home to 28 drive-in theaters. But that number will be down to one after Thursday. Parents who want their kids to experience a drive-in are heading to the final week of the Cottage View Drive-In in Cottage Grove.

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