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Minneapolis' Uptown Theatre Is Facing Eviction

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- After being closed for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the iconic Uptown Theatre in Minneapolis is facing eviction.

Lagoon Partners, LLC, the building's landlord, filed an eviction complaint this week against Landmark Theatres, the Delaware-based company which operates the single-screen theater in the heart of Uptown. The complaint alleges that Landmark Theatres owes more than $340,000 in back rent and fees.

According to the complaint, Lagoon Partners sent Landmark Theatres a written notice on May 4 regarding its failure to pay rent, demanding payment in full by May 17. Lagoon Partners never received the payment, the complaint states, so it's asking the court for possession of the property, thereby evicting Landmark Theatres.

The Uptown Theatre is a longtime staple of its south Minneapolis neighborhood, beloved for its midnight screenings and focus on independent and foreign cinema.

The theater's history dates back to 1916, when it opened as the Lagoon Theatre. About a decade later, it was remodeled and given its current name. Following a devastating fire in 1939, local designers rebuilt the theater in its now-iconic modern style, including the 50-foot tower that brightly displays the Uptown name.

Landmark Theatres has operated the building since 1978. However, the theater has been closed since last March due to the ongoing pandemic.

The nearby Lagoon Cinema, which is also operated by Landmark Theatres, began screening films again in February.

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