Monday, June 27, 2016

New Minneapolis Movie House

Minneapolis Tribune, 03.12.16
via Hennepin History Museum

Biggest Movies

The Blair Witch Project is generally the title brought up in conversation when discussing the largest movie opening at the Uptown Theatre. This is absolutely correct, but what's less known is the remainder of the top ten. This list goes between November 1985 and June 2016 and is not adjusted for inflation:

Largest Grossing Weeks
1. Blair Witch Project (07.16.99)
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (01.12.01)
3. Royal Tenenbaums (12.21.01)
4. Crying Game (01.08.93)
5. Grand Budapest Hotel (03.14.14)
6. A Mighty Wind (04.16.03)
7. Juno (12.14.07)
8. About Schmidt (12.20.02)
9. Fargo (03.08.96)
10. Pan's Labyrinth (01.19.07)

The remainder of the top 25 paint an intriguing picture of the 1990s independent scene, as many others are period pictures (The Piano, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Enchanted April). The most surprising entry (to me, anyway) is 2000's The Endurance. The largest grossing re-release is Casablanca in 1992, just making the list at #25.

The longest a movie ever stayed at the Uptown is Sex, Lies, & Videotape for 8 weeks in 1989. This is followed by both The Piano in 1993 and In Bruges in 2008 at 7 weeks each.

As for midnights, the top ten are dominated by two screenings of The Room where Tommy Wiseau appeared in person and the Halloween weekend shows of Rocky Horror Picture Show. If one were to go just by titles, however:

Largest Grossing Midnight Films
1. The Room (11.20.10)
2. Rocky Horror Picture Show (10.29.10)
(then the other Room & Rocky Horror Halloween screenings)
3. The Goonies (11.15.03)
4. Donnie Darko (01.03.04)
5. Nightmare Before Christmas (10.25.03)
6. Neverending Story (01.06.01)
7. Princess Bride (07.22.00)
8. Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Animation (04.29.00)
9. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (11.08.03)
10. Spirited Away (01.01.16)

While the least attended film at the Uptown is unknown (Not Another Gay Movie & The New Girlfriend are my best guesses), Grumpy Old Men was the least attended midnight on 08.18.01.

Ultimate Destruction of the Uptown Theatre

After the Uptown Theatre closed for renovations on 01.31.12, plans were for construction to lay waste and clear out the lobby and auditorium. On 02.05.12, the night before the crew would be starting, employees past and present gathered to help in the proceedings.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rock & Roll Ray

The legendary Rock & Roll Ray was an icon of the Minneapolis cinema scene, bringing his horror host talents to a multitude of local theaters along with weekly appearances on public access. The first event he hosted at the Uptown was Nightmare on Elm Street 3 on 10.25.08, with ten other screenings consisting of Aliens, Audition, Dr. Strangelove, Evil Dead, The Jerk, John Carpenter's The Thing, Spooktacular!, Thirst, Troll 2, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Uptown Tower (2009)

While this photo was taken of a graffiti tag from the 07.25.09 midnight screening of Thrashin', it accurately documents the condition of the Uptown tower prior to the 2012 renovation.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


During the Che Roadshow Edition


This particular post mentions that they come from the ECCO News Photograph Collection that will be available online later this summer, so hopefully there will be more images to post at that time.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Anniversary Week

Opening Night (06.03.16)

Cake donated by Yum! Bakery

Banners courtesy of the University of Minnesota
Mannequins in 1920s dress courtesy of the Hennepin History Museum 

Tour presented by Preserve Minneapolis & the Preservation Alliance of MN

 Joseph Larsen & Rich Gill introduce The Women
Anniversary Displays

Rocky Horror Controversy

We, the regulars of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Undersigned individuals in attendance on February 20th, 1993, wish to express our discontent with the current plans for cast. We feel that since we represent the majority of the regularly attending audience that we should have the say in the cast that has been traditionally given to us.
The proposed plan for the cast would deprive the audience of an experienced cast for, as of yet, an undetermined time period. We, the undersigned, feel that we can provide an experienced cast within a two week alotment. (March 13th, 1993) If this plan of action is disagreeable with you (the management of the Uptown Theater) then we, the undersigned, would rather not have a cast at all.
(found enclosed in a professional red folder - 30 signatures followed)

Rocky Horror Rules

The following are the Uptown Theatre's Rules for Rocky:

1. Nobody on the stage (other than the cast).
2. Do NOT throw anything at the screen.
3. No Men in the Women's Room/No Women in the Men's Room.
4. No standing on the seats.
5. No flames in the auditorium.

(from a memorandum dated 08.03.93)