Historic, remodeled Madelia Theater reopens for one day only before shutdown order

Historic, remodeled Madelia Theater reopens for one day only before shutdown order

MADELIA, Minn. (KEYC) - A local theater forced to temporarily shutter during the pandemic used the extra time to make upgrades, and are hoping to transport patrons back to the 1930s.

“We’re going for the ‘wow-factor,’” said theater owner Brent Christensen. “When they walk in this door after we’ve been closed all this time, we want them to look around and go ‘oh, wow.’”

The theater opens Friday for one day only before having to close again because of shutdown orders that go into effect.

Brent Christensen, owner of the Madelia Theater, poses for a portrait behind the theater's concession counter. The theater reopens Friday for one day only before closing again because of COVID-19 restrictions.
Brent Christensen, owner of the Madelia Theater, poses for a portrait behind the theater's concession counter. The theater reopens Friday for one day only before closing again because of COVID-19 restrictions. (Source: Gage Cureton)

Despite the setback, Christensen said they’ll take advantage of the shutdown to continually renovate the theater and restore it to its 1930s aesthetic.

“In a normal world, you can’t take the theater down for two months and take it out of service - you have to generate revenue,” he said. “Well we were forced to shut down, so we thought ‘what the heck,’ let’s take this opportunity and do things we’ve talked about doing for a very long time and just couldn’t.”

Throughout the first shutdown, the theater underwent renovations that included removing the 1970s-era shag carpet and other minor renovations.

“I think it’s important on us as caretakers of this theater to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves,” Christensen said. “And I think we’ve down that. We’ve had a great team that has put this together and done a wonderful job on it.”

The theater is open Friday hosting three screenings of a holiday film classic.

The Madelia Theater's marquee pictured Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
The Madelia Theater's marquee pictured Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. (Source: Gage Cureton)

“Now we’re ready to share it,” Christensen said.

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