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Bygone Signage: the Movie Theater

  • Blog Post by: James Lileks
  • April 1, 2010 - 12:06 PM

 Another detail from the vast resources of the 1960 Survey project - soon to be a big web project coming to a browser near you. Today it's Hennepin and Seventh:

The three-story building no longer stands.  The theater is the RKO-Pan, with "Pan" standing for Pantages, its original name. 

Cheerful, eh? Vice for vice! Kill for Kill! The Purple Gang was a bootlegging outfit, supposedly named because they were rotten, "purple like the color of bad meat." A movie called "The Bad Meat Gang" probably wouldn't have drawn many patrons.

The Pantages theater was built in 1916, bought by the RKO chain in '46 and modernized; it closed the year this picture was taken. In 1961 it was modernized again, and turned into the Mann. Its full glory was restored a few years ago - much more here

This may look familiar to music lovers:

Music City held down the corner for a few decades, with a great effervescent sign; towards the end, I recall, they stopped replacing the light bulbs. 

Then there's this:

Pan Fruit. Downtown had grocery stores back then, including the Great Northern up the street. A fella could buy an apple, wander into the show, and crunch it loudly to the dismay of fellow patrons. 

Today:

 

 

 

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