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Best Independent Movie Theaters In The Twin Cities

Surviving the summer heat is often a reason to go to the movies. With several blockbuster films currently showing, the masses will flock to their local malls to enjoy these typical Hollywood productions. But what if you crave something other than the predictable Hollywood drama, action flick or comedy? The Twin Cities provides options for those that enjoy independent film and those just looking for a small dose of culture.
Landmark's Edina Cinema
(credit: Landmark's Edina Cinema/Facebook)

Landmark Theatres

Landmark Theatres is the largest national chain of theatres dedicated to independent film. In the Twin Cities, Landmark boasts three locations. The Landmark Theatres in Minnesota run a very diverse collection of films including independent, foreign and 3D. In 2010, the theatre chain introduced eco-friendly popcorn bags to its concession repertoire.

Edina Landmark
3911 W 50th St
Edina, MN 55424
(651) 649-4416

This location has been a movie theatre since the 1930s but has been renovated and operated by Landmark since 2003. Four screens show a wide variety of independent and foreign films at this theatre at 50th and France. The location is perfect, situated among a number of great restaurants and specialty shopping.

Landmark Lagoon
1320 Lagoon Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 392-0402

The Landmark Lagoon is only a couple blocks from the uptown location and houses five screens in an unusually decorated setting. The interior design captures the aquatic atmosphere of the nearby lakes and the theatres themselves are comfortable and inviting.

Uptown Landmark
(credit: Landmark's Uptown Theater/Facebook)

Uptown Landmark
2906 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 392-0402

This location was built in 1910 and has been operated by Landmark since 1978. Uptown Landmark is currently closed for remodeling but the re-opening is planned to be this summer, 2012. This theatre is a literal landmark in itself with balcony seating and much of the original construction still retained. There is only one screen in this theatre that often runs cult classics and midnight screenings.

Riverview Theater
(credit: CBS)

Riverview Theatre
3800 42nd Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 729-7369

The Riverview Theatre is located near the Mississippi River in a culturally-relevant part of the Twin Cities. Although this theatre has branched out to feature blockbusters as well as independent films, the experience is still different from the typical cineplex. Riverview Theatre has retained the decor of the 1950s and provides classic theatre features such as a relaxing lobby full of couches and chairs. Also featured at the Riverview on occasion are niche art films and private screenings for local filmmakers.

Related: Best Iconic Works Of Art In The Twin Cities

Parkway Theater
(credit: CBS)

Pepito's Parkway
4814 Chicago Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55417
(612) 822-3030

This neighborhood cinema was opened in 1931 and has gone through many renovations and owners in its long history. After a stretch where the theatre was home to adult films, it was returned to its original purpose of a local gathering place to view art and independent features. Currently, the Parkway screens all types and genres of cult and independent favorites in a single-screen venue. Grab some food at Pepitos restaurant next door and bring it in while you watch.

Trylon Microcinema
(credit: Trylon Microcinema)

Trylon Microcinema
3258 Minnehaha Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 424-5468

Located in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, this theatre is a true venue for film lovers. The theatre is quaint, independently-operated and manned by many volunteers who have such a love of film that they will literally work for free. The Microcinema houses only 50 rocking seats in the single-screen auditorium that shows only classic and independent films. The projectors are donated and the tickets are purchased at the door with cash only. This theatre has long been considered a cultural gem in the neighborhood where it resides.

Heights Theater - Exterior
(credit: Coco Mault)

Heights Theatre
3951 Central Ave NE
Columbia Heights, MN 55421
(763) 788-9079

Constructed in 1926, this historical theatre has been through three fires, a tornado and one bombing. The Heights Theatre runs classic and independent films as well as live productions. Rebuilt in its original design, the Heights Theatre houses beautiful chandeliers, classic interior decor and a grand piano in the lobby. The screens and projectors are more modern to offer a more visually and sound film experience. Copious seating in the single-screen theatre and pre-film organ music are some of the charms of this locale.

Related: Guide To Great Photo Locales In The Twin Cities

Andrea Wodele is a freelance writer who has lived in the Twin Cities for eight years. She loves covering all things Minnesota and her work can be found on

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