Amusement seekers are well cared for by theatrical houses of the Zenith City

That was the headline above this photo collage from the Sept. 30, 1914 edition of the Duluth News Tribune. Of course, the Lyceum, Rex, Grand, Zelda and Empress are all gone now. Only the Orpheum remains — remodeled and renamed the NorShor Theatre in 1941.

The Duluth Economic Development Authority is working with Westlake Reed Leskosky and SJA Architects on restoration plans for the NorShor. Have patience; it’ll take some time.



about 13 years ago

WDSE PBS will be airing a new, locally produced documentary, Stage to Screen: Historic Theaters of the North, on Thursday, August 11.


about 13 years ago

Many fond memories of the Lyceum, especially "monster" movies on a Saturday afternoon!


about 13 years ago

Seems like theater is hot again in Duluth!

Paul Lundgren

about 13 years ago

Here's the news release on Stage to Screen: Historic Theaters of the North:

It was a world that brought miners and millionaires, loggers and ladies together for entertainment. WDSE/WRPT pulls back the curtain on a colorful and fascinating history of the most storied theaters in Northern Minnesota. Stage to Screen: Historic Theaters of the North premieres Thursday, August 11, at 7pm on PBS North 8.1 │ 31.1. Stage to Screen takes you back to the late 1800s, when hard-working lumberjacks and miners came to town for entertainment; as did the elite, who watched from private theater boxes. From the Iron Range towns of Virginia and Hibbing, to Superior Street in downtown Duluth, theaters large and small, lavish and basic, opened to serve the growing population. Stage to Screen also recalls some of the theaters that have faded into history, and others that continue showing movies decades after construction. See the amazing Lyceum Theater and Grand Opera House, built to announce that Duluth was a place of significance. Relive stories of the dozen theaters that once lined the streets of Virginia, including the Lyric Opera House; Hibbing was home to The Lybba, Homer, Victory, and grand State Theater; and the Lake Theatre in Moose Lake, owned by the same family for five generations. Experience the transition from live theater performances to silent movies and "talking pictures." As the audiences' preference changed, performance spaces changed to accommodate them. Moving pictures became the rage; and by the '40s and '50s, going to the movies was part of the American way of life. Many historic theaters were shuttered and eventually torn down. But some remain, hidden in plain sight, hoping for a rebirth and new life as cultural and arts centers.
And here's some photos from the documentary: Grand Opera House Grand Opera House interior Grand Theatre Lyceum Theatre Lyceum Theatre interior

Thom J. Peterson

about 13 years ago

I grew up in Duluth, graduated in 1965 from UMD and moved East to go to graduate school at the Yale School of Drama.  I have lived in CT ever since.
I was always fascinated by the theaters in Duluth.  At UMD I started a company called the Arrowhead Theatre Guild and we reopened the Lyceum to live performances of four musicals, bringing in leading actors from NYC that I had met in summer stock.
I remember seeing movies at the Granada, Lyceum, Lyric, Garrick, Lakeside, and the Star in the West End.  

I have just purchased some incredible photos of the Garrick for a project I am working on of a vaudeville act that played throughout the country, including Duluth at the Garrick.  The star of the act, Dainty June, became the actress June Havoc who died last year at her home in CT at the age of 97.

I just discovered this site and am so impressed. 

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This week at Hartley Nature Center

Volunteer Evening in the Butterfly Garden- Tuesday, July 26, 6-8 pm. All ages invited- kids adult-accompanied. Free event-no experience necessary....