The signage ain't lying.
For months now, the Parkway Theater in south Minneapolis has displayed the following on its marquee: WE CAN REBUILD IT BETTER STRONGER FASTER.
On Friday, new owners Ward Johnson and Eddie Landenberger revealed the fruits of their ongoing revitalization of the 87-year-old Art Deco theater: a remodeled lobby with a brand-new bar (featuring cocktails concocted by Tattersall) and retro arcade, two additional bathrooms, reupholstered seating, restored 35mm projectors plus a new digital one, and an updated sound system.
The Parkway will officially come back to life on September 13 with a screening of shark-attack romp Jaws. That'll mark the debut of a 35mm classic film night planned for every Thursday; Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Clockwork Orange, Saturday Night Fever, and other favorites are already on tap. The just-released calendar also includes new films, documentaries, and collabs with the Film Society of Minneapolis St. Paul.
But wait, that's not all! The new ownership is utilizing the hell outta the space, with plans for live music (Jeremy Messersmith, Dave King, Ashwini Ramaswamy, David Huckfelt), standup comedy (Spit Take Comedy Series), political improv (Theater of Public Policy), and "hyper-local" forums with neighborhood station KRSM Radio.
"The theater has one of the only 35mm projectors in the city, and we’d like to continue showcasing classic and cult movies," Johnson told City Pages in March. "As far as live music, we’d like to get the room looking and sounding great, and create a seated, performer-centric venue where the focus is on the music."
Sounds like mission accomplished. Click here to see the Parkway's full list of events.
In other 48th & Chicago news: The adjoining El Burrito Minneapolis -- an offshoot of St. Paul's beloved El Burrito Mercado -- quietly opened this week in the former Pepitos space, which is also owned by Johnson and Landenberger. The author of this very blog dined there last night; he got the tamales and enjoyed them.