Skip to main content

Historic Terrace Theater will be torn down to make room for a Hy-Vee, city votes

  • Author:
  • Updated:

The Robbinsdale City Council has voted to tear down a historic theater to make room for a Hy-Vee grocery store and a gas station.

The unanimous vote came after midnight Tuesday, despite a more than year-long effort from community members to save the Terrace Theater.

You can watch Monday night's 5-hour, 20-minute city council meeting below (talk about the Terrace Theater redevelopment begins around the 21-minute mark):

This embed is invalid

The Terrace Theater opened in 1951, and it was considered one of the most luxurious, comfortable and up-to-date theaters in the country, the Robbinsdale Historical Society says. In 1999, it played its last film and has sat vacant ever since.

After years of trying to figure out what to do with the theater, which had fallen into "substandard condition," the city announced in mid-July that a developer had proposed paying $6 million to acquire the property with the hope of building a Hy-Vee grocery store, the City of Robbinsdale website says.

The city's website noted there had been no "solid business plan submitted for use of the theater."

At Monday night's meeting, the city council reviewed the Hy-Vee proposal, voting unanimously to tear down the theater. Save The Terrace Theater, a group dedicated to preserving the property, had tried to get a 60-day extension from the city council in order to hear more from the community, but that request was denied, according to posts in the Save The Terrace Theater Facebook group.

Demolition of the theater is set to begin Sept. 30, KSTP says.

Pete Richie, a board member of the Robbinsdale Historical Society, told BringMeTheNews they are "saddened but not surprised" at the city's decision, noting they had "hoped for and worked for an extraordinary outcome."

"We hope Hy-Vee will consider donating architectural details and fixtures to the historical society," Richie adds.

Despite some people in the community being unhappy about the city council's decision, others cheered it.

This comes as Hy-Vee continues to expand its footprint in the Twin Cities. The Iowa-based grocery chain has opened nearly two dozen locations in Minnesota, including at least five in the metro area.

More on the Terrace Theater

The theater was the last indoor theater designed by Twin Cities architects Liebenberg and Kaplan (L&K), who designed or remodeled dozens of other theaters in the Twin Cities, including ones in Wayzata (1932), Edina (1934), Uptown (1937), and the Varsity (1938), Preservation Design Works LLC notes.

The 1,300-seat Terrace Theater gained L&K national attention for its design, which featured a sunken den and fireplace, a television lounge, well-furnished nursery rooms and deep and soft cushion seats, the historical society says. During its heyday, the theater attracted guests from every state and even Canada.

Next Up

Peyton Manning John Randle Twitter

What was Peyton Manning doing in Minnesota?

It's apparently for an upcoming episode of his TV show, "Peyton's Place."

covid-19, coronavirus

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 25

The test positivity rate has dropped for the first time since before Christmas.

liz collin wcco youtube screengrab

Liz Collin reveals she is leaving WCCO

"Thank you for trusting me to tell your stories," she wrote in Tuesday's announcement.

jimmy john's rochester antimask rant guy

Video: Man harasses Jimmy John's workers, wishes death on them over mask mandate

"When are you going to start using that brain inside of your head," the man asks.

Jim Harbaugh, Michigan Wolverines

Michigan writer: 'Don't count out the Vikings' on Jim Harbaugh

Are the Vikings a dark horse to hire Michigan's head coach?

st louis park shooting 1

St. Louis Park PD release photos of vehicle involved in shooting on I-394

A man was shot multiple times as he drove down I-394 last week.


Perfect 10: Gophers gymnasts make history with two perfect scores

Mya Hooten and Ona Loper were literally perfect on Monday night.

Dean Evason

Tempers flare as Wild hammer Canadiens

Montreal was anything but polite after the Wild picked up an 8-2 victory.

Blaine VFW video screengrab crop N West Twitter

Authorities now looking into MN lawmaker's report of assault

Video shows Rep. Nolan West being grabbed and pushed out of a public event.

TajPharmaImages WIkimedia Commons ivermectin

COVID treatments: Essentia Health to help test 3 existing meds

The clinical trial includes the much-discussed drug ivermectin.

Screen Shot 2022-01-24 at 3.48.57 PM

Suspect crashes into Minneapolis snow plow, fires shots at plow driver

The plow driver was pulled to the side of the road when the incident happened.


Demolition of the historic Terrace Theater began Saturday morning

The historic Terrace Theater in Robbinsdale is being torn down.