HENNEPIN AVENUE – With venues like The Orpheum, The State Theatre and The Pantages Theatre, the Hennepin Avenue Theatre District is one of the most vital areas of Downtown. By this fall, another Theatre will join their ranks. The Hennepin Theatre Trust has announced The New Century Theatre, a 300-seat performance space at 615 Hennepin Avenue South.
The new theatre space is named for the Century Theatre, a venue that once stood on the site but was demolished to make room for City Center. Built in 1908, the Century Theatre was redesigned and closed several times before it was demolished in 1965. According to Hennepin Theatre Trust President and CEO Tom Hoch, the name was chosen to recognize Hennepin Avenue’s past and its future. Hoch sees the theatres as a vital part of the revitalization of Hennepin Avenue and Downtown. “All along Hennepin, from the Walker to the Library, we want to have a variety of ways of engaging the people of Minnesota,” he says.
Located inside City Center, The New Century Theatre will focus on the types of shows currently offered at the Hennepin Stages, which was recently purchased by Brave New Workshop. Popular shows such as “Don’t Hug Me Christmas” will make the move to The New Century, as will the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s educational programming and other local productions. “I routinely meet with people looking for space for show,” saws Hoch. “We really needed a new space to support local productions, as well as continuing our presence on Hennepin Avenue.”
The theatre space will also serve as a meeting space for the Hennepin Theatre Trust, which will also relocate its offices to an adjacent space in City Center. The offices will move over at the end of this month, before construction on the performance space kicks off in earnest. Hoch hopes to have The New Century Theatre open by Labor Day.