MPPL Financial President Scott Wallschlaeger stands outside 309 W. Superior St., the old Zelda Theatre building.
The NorShor isn’t the only historic theater seeing a new life in downtown Duluth.
MPPL Financial purchased the former Zelda Theatre in December and plans to move its operations from a historic bank building in Proctor to 309 W. Superior St. this summer. Renovations are underway both inside the heavily altered building and outside on Superior Street, where the city of Duluth recently launched a major road reconstruction project.
The building had been home to Peterson Anderson Flowers since the 1980s.
According to the website cinematreasures.org, the Zelda Theatre was constructed in 1914. It was designed by architects Wangenstein and Guliuson for owner W.M. Abrahamson, who named the building after a daughter. A University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library photo shows the building once boasted a marble facade, a grand second story archway and 15-foot high pillars framing the entrance.
“Unfortunately, almost nothing is left of the original building,” said MPPL president Scott Wallschlaeger. “It’s really a shame because the front of the building was amazing.”
According to the Duluth history website zenithcity.com, the theater closed in 1927, becoming the Zelda Inn and later Boyce Drug Store.