NorShor Theatre: A Look Inside Before the Restoration


Dan Turner spelunks the NorShor Theatre and Temple Opera Block in the latest feature on his Substreet website. From the projection room to the roof to the squatter’s apartment in the basement, it’s one of the last chances to see things as they were/are. Construction will be begin soon to renovate the NorShor, which will be operated by the Duluth Playhouse.

Projection-Booth-II-CSUSBTREET Rooftop-Cafe-CSUSBTREET Secret-Temple-Opera-Apartment-CSUSBTREET


Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

From the Sept. 18, 2000, Duluth News Tribune: 

Greysolon residents view NorShor rooftop as an eyesore; complaints prompt Ringsred's promise to clean up By Bob Linneman In the face of complaints from residents of Greysolon Plaza, downtown property owner Eric Ringsred said Friday that he intends to clean up the cluttered rooftop of his NorShor Annex building in the 200 block of East Superior Street. Greysolon resident Betty Lund, the loudest critic of what she describes as an eyesore, said she's heard it all before. "I have called him, sent him letters and talked to him in person," Lund said of Ringsred. "I get the same old spiel. He did some cleanup (last week) but it didn't make a dent." The roof of Ringsred's building is cluttered with old tires and empty metal barrels. Lund said canvas, plastic tarps and other garbage was cleaned up last week. "It's already in progress," Ringsred said of the rooftop cleanup. "The people at the Greysolon have been leaving me nasty messages for a long time. No one has been very nice about it. It gets you a little irritated. "No one has called and said 'this is bothering us' or 'would you mind cleaning it up?' I get, 'if you don't do it I'm going to call the cops.' In any event, I've been intending to do it for a long time." Ringsred called his messy rooftop a well-intentioned project gone awry. He had hoped to lay a large mat on the roof and plant flowers in the old tires. "I wanted to make it look nice," he said. But he was unable to find a mat and never completed the project. The tires, he said, have sat on the roof for two years. Lund, though, claims the roof has been cluttered for eight years. Ringsred said he has now assembled a cleanup crew, which started on the roof last week. He did not say when the job would be completed, although he intends to visit the rooftop this week to give his crew direction. A steamed Lund is ready to take her crusade to the Duluth City Council. She has the backing of state Sen. Sam Solon. "In my opinion this is not only a serious public health issue, but a dangerous fire risk as well," Solon said in a letter to the St. Louis County department of public health. Lund would like the city to draft an ordinance addressing this situation. The city has no law requiring clean rooftops. As for a fire danger, Ringsred has passed inspections from the Duluth fire marshal. It's just not pretty to look at, said Lund from her eighth floor apartment, which looks over the downtown area. "If this was someone's yard, it would have been gone a long time ago," Lund said. "Why should we have to look at that?" Miriam Burke, manager of the Greysolon, said she's even had difficulty renting apartments in the building occupied mostly by senior citizens because of the debris on Ringsred's roof. "I've brought people through the building and (the roof) has been brought to my attention," Burke said. "It affects our marketing strategy." Rick Boo, who leases the NorShor Theater from Ringsred, has also come under fire, even though the theater's portion of the rooftop is clean. "Everybody looks at it as one building," Boo said. "But the NorShor Theater property is clear. There's nothing up there but a pigeon." The theater's roof stands taller than the rest of the cluttered rooftop. While Ringsred said the job will be done, and soon, Lund is skeptical. "We want to see it carried through," she said. Added Burke: "Something should be done. If it was around my house, someone would clean it up."

David Beard

about 6 years ago

The article talks about the balcony becoming a second venue in 1998, which sounds right, because I remember movies and I think comedy up there in the 1990s, when I still lived in MSP and vacationed up here.

It suggests that the stripper stage was added at the same time, which I think is anacronism.  At least, I don't remember it.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago


The balcony was converted into a movie theater in 1992 and the strip stage was added in 2006, according to the NorShor Theatre Historical Slide Show, compiled by Tony Dierckins.


about 6 years ago

Yeah, I've let Dan know that the stage in the middle of the mezzanine (facing the bar)  was added post Rick Boo, circa 2004/2006. The black "permanent" riser type stage was at the right side if you were looking from the bar, opposite the worker mural, and it was built after 2000 I'm pretty sure.

Paul Lundgren

about 6 years ago

NorShor roof

Google Maps view of the whole block. One of these rooftops is not like the others.

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