The West Theater is a unique entertainment hub serving the community with mainstream movies, classic films, concerts, and plays.
Ancient History: Christmas Day 1937:
The West Theater first opened on Christmas Day in 1937, the brainstorm of J.B. Clinton and Clarence Kaake. As designed by architect Perry E. Crosier of Minneapolis, it is a streamlined modern variation of Art Deco. It originally seated 595 people.
The building remained shuttered until 1997, when it reopened as a quilt shop. It had two lives in the quilting business, as Creations Unlimited and Quilter’s Co-op.
Dave Orman later purchased the building, operating as Raven and Associates Screen Printers from 2012 to 2014. After closing down that business, Orman offered Robert Boone, publisher of the Reader Weekly, an option for the sale of the building, declining other offers because he felt that Boone’s vision of re-creating a theater would be a greater benefit to the community.
Boone bought the theater for $140,500 on Oct. 5, 2016, operating as Paladin Properties LLC, with the assistance of Park State Bank and the Northeast Entrepreneur Fund.
During the renovation
Although the auditorium has been gutted, and the marquee is gone, the building is structurally solid and has a newer roof. The lobby is in virtually original condition. The theater required a new marquee, a digital projection booth, HVAC, upgraded bathrooms and much more.
Some changes from the original design were unavoidable. At one point, an owner leveled out the rear section of the sloped auditorium floor by pouring a concrete slab the width of the building, 16 feet by 40 feet and 20 inches thick. Rather than chip away the entire slab, crews have added a lounge and extra bathrooms in that space in the last few months.
The Grand Opening
The West Theater finally opens on June 21st 2019
Anyone interested in holding events at a renovated West Theater, or with old photos of the building, or other inquiries are welcome to contact Bob Boone at email@example.com or at The Reader, 218-722-0173.
Special Thanks To Our Volunteers Who Made The West Theater Possible!
Bill Andersen **
Mark Carlos **
Carol George **
Tami LaPole **
Dennis Medjo **
Jim Myer **
Roberta Myer **
Rick Olson **
Jim Unden **
Mary Unden **
Beverly Van Alstine
Dan Williams **
Katherine York **