I have thought long and hard about the Terrace Theatre over the years. The thought of the beautiful building sitting vacant for all this time has always bothered me. When I approached Brixmor last December to open communication, this was the idea that was in my head.
Ask anybody who has had the opportunity to visit the Terrace, whether as a single screen or multi screen venue, and they all remember the lobby. The lobby was absolutely beautiful, with amazing chandeliers, a copper drinking fountain, the sunken lower lobby with fireplace. These are the things that made the Terrace special, and this is my main goal with the revitalization of the building.
The first step would be to restore the lobby area and have it retain as much of the original look as possible. Recreate the fountain, relight the chandeliers. I would convert the old television room into an area devoted to Robbinsdale history, with a permanent exhibit showing the history of the Terrace and rotating exhibits from the Robbinsdale Historical Society, much like that currently showcased at the Hennepin County History Museum.
I would not restore the auditorium to it's full 1300 seat capacity. As beautiful as it was, a 1300 seat movie theater cannot hope to compete with the current market. I would convert the auditorium into a multiuse venue, which could support both live events as well as show movies.
The upper areas, I would keep in much the same fashion. One of the theaters could be used as a smaller live theater stage, while the other could be utilized by local community groups for meetings.
To me, one of the most important things that must come out of any Terrace renovation is that control of the building, and whatever business goes into it, must be kept within the community. Without that control, there is absolutely no guarantee that an outside company would not come in and completely convert the building we love so much into something completely unidentifiable.