Hennepin Theatre Trust celebrates centennial birthdays of iconic theatres

Hennepin Theatre Trust celebrates centennial birthdays of iconic theatres

The buildings along Minneapolis’ Hennepin Avenue have served as a backdrop to 100 years of history at the heart of downtown. To celebrate the centennial birthdays of the Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres, we held the Centennial Celebration—an event that brought together civic, non-profit and community leaders to celebrate these historic theatres and look forward to the future of our vibrant Hennepin Theatre District. Photos from the event are available to view and download!

At our Centennial Celebration on September 22, we featured performances by Spotlight Education students, sketches by the cast of Brave New Workshop and remarks by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, Council Member Lisa Goodman, Kulture Klub Executive Director Siddeeqah Shabazz and others.

Hennepin Theatre Trust celebrates centennial birthdays of iconic theatresMark Nerenhausen, President and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust toasted the 100 years of entertainment the Orpheum, State and Pantages theatres have brought to Hennepin Avenue. From vaudeville to Hollywood and Broadway, these theatres form the foundation of a nationally-recognized performing arts center.

“As we toast to the 100-year birthdays of these three theatres, we look forward to all the good things to come in the Hennepin Theatre District,” said Nerenhausen.

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and City Council Member Lisa Goodman spoke to the achievements of the Trust and the positive change it brings as we enter a new era as a city and community.

“As we recover from the last couple of years […] we need artists, we need creators, we need people to watch artists and creators […] because it challenges us all to be better […] to take the next steps as a city,” said Mayor Frey.

“I am proud of our achievements over the decades to save these theatres for generations to come,” said Council Member Goodman. “As we look toward the next 100 years, I

know that the future of the Hennepin Theatre District will be even more glittering than its past.”

The night paid homage to the individuals who, over the past decades, banded together with a vision to save Hennepin’s

 historic theatres and guarantee their futures.

Fred Krohn founding president and CEO of the Historic Theatre Group and Tom Hoch, founding president and CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, reminisced on their time at the wheel and shared a moment of pride for how far the Trust has come.

“While it may look like I’ve been here for the whole centennial, I have in fact only been here for fifty years,” Krohn joked. “In just a few decades, it has been incredible to see Hennepin Theatre Trust grow into a nationally-recognized performing arts center that put Minneapolis back on the Broadway map.”

“When I led the Trust, I spent a lot of my time at City Hall convincing them that, while we may not have had an audience at the time, […] we were sure that if we built it, they would come. I’m grateful to our community and our entire state for supporting these historic theatres,” Hoch added.

The evening celebrated Hennepin Theatre Trust’s partnerships in the community. Travis Barkve, Chair of the Hennepin Theatre Trust Board and Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy & Operations Officer at Choice Bank and Jim Sheely, President of Broadway Across America North, applauded the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s impact on the arts, both in bringing the magic of Broadway to Minneapolis and as a pillar of the local community.

“The trajectory of the Hennepin Theatre Trust is one that we can all be proud of—because we are all part of its success. Each of us […] is a part of this community,” said Barkve. “I cannot wait to see what is in store for the Hennepin Theatre Trust in the coming years.”

“Over 6 million people have experienced the excitement of Broadway on Hennepin Avenue, a number that will only continue to grow in the future,” said Sheely.

Kulture Klub Executive Director Siddeeqah Shabazz praised the work the Hennepin Theatre Trust has done to invigorate the district. “You don’t have to go to New York or LA or anywhere else, we are doing the work here and creating a vibrant community right in your own backyard. Thank you, Hennepin Theatre Trust.”