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America's Classic Cinemas continues to travel across the county, collecting photos and memories of these places that have provided entertainment to so many people.  It is important to give these places an online presence in order to share them with both those who have fond memories, and those whom have never had the opportunity to visit them.  All images are the property of David Leonhardt  unless noted and cannot be used without permission.

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Preservation Through Photography

 

A little over three years ago, I was sitting in Robbinsdale looking at the Terrace Theatre.  I had worked at the Terrace for three years in the early/mid 90's.  It was where I met and worked alongside my future wife, it is where our son took some of his first steps, and it was without a doubt my favorite job I have ever had.  The Terrace held many special memories for myself and my family. 

 

As I looked at the theater, closed since 1998, I came to a saddening realization: This place which literally laid the groundwork for my life, this place that was so important to me, only existed in my memory and the memories of those who visited it during its nearly 50 years of operation.  While scouring the internet, I learned that there are very few photographs of the Terrace from when it was open.  There are even fewer photos of the days when I worked there.  At the time, I was only aware of four.

 

It made me wonder:  With so many of these classic theaters having closed over the years, how many of them have been lost to the ages because nobody thought to simply snap a photograph, or because the photographs that were taken have been lost to time?

 

During the summer of 2014, my wife and I set out on a journey.  We began traveling across Minnesota, photographing classic cinemas.  As our travels have taken us across the country, we expanded our mission to include theaters throughout the United States.  It is our hope to try to help preserve these theaters any way we can.  Sometimes, we are only able to snap a few photos of the exteriors.  Sometimes, I am able to talk my way into the lobbies and auditoriums.  I've even been able to schedule times to shoot some of them before the theater opens, with the owners graciously giving me free reign of these wonderful movie houses.

 

It has been through this mission that I had another spark ignited within myself: To save the Terrace Theatre that I loved so dearly.  The stories I have heard of these theaters, and the important roles that they play in their communities, inspired me to try to preserve the place that so many of us love so much.

 

Thank you for checking out my site.  As we continue to travel across the country, we will continue to add more and more theaters to the website.  It is our hope that, by doing what we can, we can help to provide people with the ability to visit these theaters, whether they are still open or not.

 

Thanks for visiting

David

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