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Theatre History > Other Pantages Theatres

If you're a theatre-history buff, you may also be interested to know more about some of the other Pantages theatre around North America. Some have been demolished, some sit abandoned, others are being restored and some have been restored and are in use. Whatever their status, each has a unique story. We are always in the process of compiling this information. If any visitors have additional information, pictures or quotes to add, please contact us.
 
 
Minneapolis, MN
www.hennepintheatredistrict.com

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October 27, 1916: Greek immigrant Alexander Pantages opens the 26th of what would eventually be a total of 500 theatres. The Minneapolis Pantages, on Hennepin Avenue, was designed by Minneapolis architectural firm Kees & Colburn. It was originally conceived as a twelve-story complex in Beaux Arts style, but was scaled back to a two-story Art Moderne facade with a Beaux arts interior that accommodated 1600 people. Building costs were approximately $15,000. The Pantages boasted the first air-conditioning in a Minneapolis theatre, which involved cooling the air with ice. Alexander Pantages also innovated the mezzanine, a carpeted lobby on the balcony level with restrooms and telephones. The first show at the Minneapolis Pantages was a vaudeville lineup that included singers, comedians, and a banjo player.

1922: A new glass dome is added high above the auditorium.

1926: The Pantages Theatre's entryway is renovated with a new facade of St. Cloud red granite.

1945: Edmond R. Ruben purchases the Pantages and renovates again, decreasing the seating capacity to 1400 and adding bird's-eye maple woodwork. The grand re-opening takes place on April 14, 1946, with a screening of Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.

1961: Edmond Ruben sells the Pantages with the surrounding Stimson building to Ted Mann, bringing Mann's total ownership of downtown Minneapolis theatres to six, including the Orpheum, the Academy, the World, the Lyceum, and the Strand. Mann renovates the theatre yet again, decreasing the seating capacity to 1100 with red padded metal rocker seats, and removing Alexander Pantages' mezzanine. The theatre reopens March 15, 1961 with the movie Spartacus.

1984: The Pantages (now the Mann) Theatre closes.

November 7, 2002: The completely renovated Pantages reopens on Hennepin Avenue.
 
 
Seattle, WA

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The Pantages Theatre had two locations. The first location was a smaller vaudeville house.

The second location was much larger. It was designed by B. Marcus Priteca and built by Alexander Pantages in 1911. The theatre was located at the corner of Third Avenue and University Street on the site of the old Plymouth Congregational Church.

When the Danz Brothers took control of the house and renamed it the "Palomar."

The theater continued under various names (including Mayfair and Rex) until 1965, when it was torn down to build a parking garage.

 
 
Vancouver, BC

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This theatre is closed and in disrepair. Located in the heart of Vancouver's downtown east-side, the exterior has been boarded up for years. Attempts by local theatre-history enthusiasts to restore the facility have been unsuccessful to date.

Vancouver's Pantages Theatre, of 1907, is the oldest surviving link of a chain of over 150 theatres. It was only the second theatre built by Alexander Pantages after his first opened in Seattle. It is the oldest surviving theatre in the city and one of the oldest intact, purpose-built vaudeville theatre interiors in Canada. The theatre was once part of a thriving theatre district of which it is one of the last survivors.

The building's facade is quite plain and is a smaller version of the, now demolished, Empress Theatre two blocks east. They followed the trend of early theatres where the office-like exterior hid a decorative interior. The only major alteration to this building has been the removal of the ticket booth.

The interior of this unique building is wonderful. Designed in an era when theatre design was going through a transformation, the Pantages exhibits a much simpler decoration scheme than later theatres. The original plaster decoration, includes musical instruments, lots of scoll work, and the initials of Mr. Pantages the theatre's owner. The proscenium was originally surrounded by flame-shaped light bulbs. The sockets are still in place.
 
 
Los Angeles, CA

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This theatre has been restored and is in excellent condition. The theatre has a prominent home on Hollywood Boulevard. It is currently managed by the Nederlanders and is home to many large broadway musicals.

Constructed in 1929 in flamboyant art deco style, this marble and bronze theater was one of the most luxurious movie palaces during the golden years of Hollywood. The Academy Awards were held here between 1949 and 1959, when classics like "On The Waterfront" and "Singin' In The Rain" were awarded Oscars. Today, the theater is simply one of the best venues in the area to experience Broadway musicals and intimate concert performances. Plus, its amazing interior design, complete with huge chandeliers and vaulted ceilings, is still in prime condition.
 
 
San Diego, CA
www.sandiegohistory.org/collections/theaters/pantages.htm

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After operating as a Pantages theatre for several years, it changed hands to the RKO Orpheum chain. There are some fabulous images available on the link above that offer an exciting glimpse into what the early Pantages was like.
 
 
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Pantages Playhouse Theatre
180 Market Avenue East | Map
Winnipeg, MB R3B 0P7

Telephone: (204) 989-2889
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E-mail: info@pantagesplayhouse.com


All photography by Michael Roberts.

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