What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to baird.helgeson@startribune.com.

VIDEO: Block E theaters make way for sports facility

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: May 9, 2014 - 2:53 PM

Just under two years after Block E's movie theaters closed for good, all but one has been ripped out to make way for the new basketball practice facility and sports medicine clinic slated for the building -- now dubbed Mayo Clinic Square.

Timberwolves Senior Vice President Ted Johnson gave MPLS a tour Thursday of the property (see video above). They hope to be complete with the project by the end of the year.

"Demolition is for the most part complete," Johnson said. "The next phase is structural work."

There is no trace now of the movie theaters that once crowded the upper floors. Their tall ceilings made an ideal environment for building a basketball court, Johnson said. 

One of the theaters -- Number 4 -- was preserved as a presentation room.

Several projects are happening simultaneously in the building. Workers outside the building are removing parts of the facade, while others are inside demolishing the former retail spaces.

Ultimately, visitors will be able to walk through the building on the ground level, rather than taking a forced detour through the second floor. In order to accomplish this, the Shout House bar will have to be moved within the building.

Above: Once movie theaters, now future home of Lynx and Timberwolves practice courts.

Above: What's left of an elevator facade in the former movie theater space.

Above: Stairwell leading to former location of Mrs. Fields Cookies and other retailers.

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