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Uptown Theater Reopens as Event Venue

Swervo Development transforms the 1916 Uptown Theater to host live events

By Todd R. Berger

5.25.23_MNME_Blog_Uptown Theatre Minneapolis
Minneapolis’ Uptown Theater, in 1014 CREDIT Adobe Stock/Matthew Deery

Minneapolis-based Swervo Development will host the grand reopening of the historic Uptown Theater as a live multipurpose venue on June 8. The Uptown, in the neighborhood of the same name in Minneapolis, will host live music, comedy acts, townhall meetings, Ted-talk speakers, one-act plays, film series, corporate and public events, and other live performances.

“I love this neighborhood,” says Ned Abdul, president of Swervo, in a prepared statement. “So, the reopening of the Uptown Theater is going be a special moment for our community. We’re humbled and honored to restore the theater while reimagining the venue to be so much more than a live music destination. We’ve drawn our inspiration from our neighbors and what Uptown needs is people, and we believe this unique entertainment venue will help re-energize this business district into what it once was.”

The Uptown opened in 1916 as the Lagoon Theater and became the Uptown in 1929. The theater is one of the oldest-surviving movie theaters in the Twin Cities and was operational for 84 years before closing.

The tireless collaboration of stakeholders and city leaders has made this once vibrant Uptown Theater landmark relevant again, and the Uptown will now offer an incredible experience for artists, fans, and the entire community.

While it will not be a full-time movie theater anymore, the iconic balcony is staying, which will allow for fixed seating. In addition, special film screenings and movie premieres may come to the theater later.

The Uptown Theater will offer intimate experiences for fans with a general admission floor and reserved mezzanine seating with incredible intimacy and sightlines of the stage. There will also be premium boxes on the second level with in-seat service.

Abdul says that the charm of the neighborhood is its easy access and central location. “We hope people come here to be entertained and then visit the other great businesses around here pre- or post-show,” he says. “The Uptown [neighborhood] will be relevant again. We believe that the new Uptown [Theater] will create the kind of buzz that will bring this iconic neighborhood back.”