NorShor Theatre Posts

Norshor Theatre renovations begin

NorShor BarThe deal to restore Duluth’s historic Norshor Theatre has finally come together, and renovation work is underway. Last week, WDSE-TV‘s Almanac North hosts Dennis Anderson and Julie Zenner discussed the project with Duluth Mayor Emily Larson and Duluth Playhouse Executive and Artistic Director Christine Gradl Seitz.

The NorShor Experience: A Strip Club Retrospective

NorShor Experience NorShor Adult Club

The NorShor Theatre first hosted exotic dancers on May 24, 2006, with two simple words on the marquee: “Live Girls.” Later, the words “Adult Club” would appear above the theater’s new business name: the NorShor Experience.

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

NorShor redevelopment will not include tower marquee

NorShor Theatre TowerThe announcement in 2013 that the NorShor Theater’s “tower marquee will rise again” appears to have been overly optimistic. During the Duluth City Council’s debate and 8-1 approval of plans to renovate the historic theater, Councilor Joel Sipress noted:

“The tower is not part of this restoration. There is some talk of maybe that being a future endeavor. [I] just don’t want anyone to be disappointed that when this is done the tower isn’t there. So I just thought I would share that with the public.”

Video of the full council debate and public comments is above. Sipress’ brief mention of the tower is at the 37:07 mark.

NorShor Theatre renovation funding in order, ready for approval

Restore the NorShorThe city of Duluth announced in a news release today the restoration Duluth’s historic NorShor Theatre could begin before the end of 2015, with a grand reopening expected in mid 2017, now that the project has finalized its funding sources.

David Montgomery, Duluth’s chief administrative officer, shared details with the City Council during its Monday committee-of-the-whole meeting. He said none of the funding will come from property taxes.

Funding secured for Wade Stadium, Spirit Mountain and NorShor

The state bonding bill that passed the Minnesota Senate today includes funding for Wade Stadium and NorShor Theatre renovation, and construction of a water-delivery system for Spirit Mountain.

“Restoring Wade Stadium will ensure the iconic ball field will continue to be enjoyed by players and fans for decades to come,” Duluth Mayor Don Ness said in a news release. “The Spirit Mountain water project will allow the ski hill to get off of the city’s treated water, saving money and opening up other potential development in the western part of town. The NorShor Theatre & Arts Center will serve as a catalyst for new development in old downtown.”

Video Archive: Light Up the NorShor 2004

Here we are, ten years later, and the marquee at the NorShor hasn’t quite been lit up yet … but it seems like we’re getting close.

The “Light Up the NorShor” fashion show fundraiser was held on Feb. 28, 2004. There must be a video of the entire event somewhere; I seem to remember it aired on public access TV. The show was organized by Adeline Wright and Laura Scheu (who became Laura Ness two months later).

NorShor: Duluth’s big bet on Old Downtown

“Ghosts and spirits make the place. So when you sit down and play a place like the NorShor, not only do you have a group of people sitting around you, but you have another community of history sitting around you, too.” — Charlie Parr

Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Stage set for restoration of NorShor Theatre in Duluth

NorShor tower to return

Remember two-and-a-half years ago when we speculated about bringing back the old NorShor tower?

Apparently, the speculation is over.

Developer: NorShor Theatre’s tower marquee will rise again

The story seems to indicate the tower will be built from scratch rather than refurbished, which leaves open the question of what happened to the original tower.

NorShor Theatre Preliminary Designs

Six-page PDF of NorShor Theatre preliminary schematic designs

NorShor Needs & Assessment

The Playhouse and Westlake Reed Leskosky architects are holding needs and assessment surveys on the NorShor Theatre this week. Here’s your chance to chime in.

“If you are interested in having a voice, which we highly encourage you to do, please take some time to fill out this survey. Time is of the essence on this front as Westlake Reed Leskosky will be returning next week to conduct meetings with interested groups. The survey is available here: NorShor Programming Questionnaire.

To schedule a meeting time with the architechts to discuss and voice your opinions please send an email to [email protected] with your availability. We will be scheduling times between 8am and 6pm on January 25th and 26th.”

Ghosts of Halloween Past

A pair of photos from the Boogieman Project — the NorShor Theatre’s Halloween party on Oct. 28, 2000.

NorShor to Remain Closed

The NorShor received the ban hammer from DEDA today. The building will be closed indefinitely until it meets ADA compliance.

DEDA Approves Budget for Norshor

DEDA Approves Budget for Norshor
Posted on the WDIO website at: 08/25/2010 9:22 PM

The Duluth Economic Development Authority approved a capital improvement budget on Wednesday for the Norshor Theatre.

The City of Duluth purchased the building in June, for $2.6 million. Fundraising is now underway for renovation work.

DEDA voted Wednesday night to put almost $100,000 towards those efforts. The Duluth Playhouse is managing the Norshor Theater and intends to have a full line-up of entertainment this fall.


I’ll say it before Paul does: NorShor, with a cap S.

Rick Boo, Hot Rod and Hung at the NorShor

(Note: This post originally linked to a slideshow about the NorShor’s history, which is why comments to the post rave about time travel.)

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