Mondays are the day I turn over the reins to our readers. I publish comments written about past posts, which in turn seem to generate more comments. This week, people are talking about Cinema 4 theater, Queen Anne Kiddieland and Richmond Hills neighborhood.
1. Cinema 4 movie theater - Last week's Monday mashup: Movies in the Southdale area brought back memories for several readers. Zeke Rice's photos of the movie theater at today's Galleria site generated some discussion among museum visitors and these two blog comments.
Tammy Rodriguez wrote, I fondly remember seeing many great movies at the Southdale Cinema when I was in Elementary School in the early 70's. This was back when it had the original two screens.
I also remember going to Yorktown when it opened, possibly 1973? It was much smaller than Southdale, but they had great movies there, too. I'd love to see some photos of Yorktown.
Thanks for the memories!
Chris wrote: Last night I was watching a special about the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan and my wife and I were discussing where we were when we first heard. So weird that I was trying to explain that I was coming out of a movie at Cinema 4 where the Galleria stands today. Had not thought about that place in years, and now 2x in 2 days…..very fun!
Pony ride photo courtesy of Gwen Thomas.
2. Queen Anne Kiddieland - I wrote The Valleyfair of yesteryear: Queen Anne Kiddieland more than a year ago, but we still get comments from folks who recall the small amusement park and search to find out more about the place that brought them so much childhood fun.
Mark Johnson wrote: My dad Dr. Angelo Johnson (Oxboro Clinic) would take us kids there on weekends. In the south end of the park was a dirt quarter midget race track and we had two of the little racers and would compete with other kids for trophies. I remember a kid named Jim Hall had a turquoise car that was faster than everybody else's car and he would win many of the races. The flagman always wore sunglasses and would jump high in the air when he dropped the green and checkered flags. When we weren't racing we were riding the ponies and other rides and drinking those little wax bottles of juice they sold at the concession stand. My recollection is that the park was located approximately where the old Lincoln Del was situated between France and Normandale. I remember there was a swampy pond in the back area of the park where frogs would peep and birds would fly in and out. Tall bulrushes hid the actual water, but I knew it had to be there because I could hear frogs. I miss those times.
I love the stories about QAK, and I hadn't heard about the midget race track before. Thanks for writing, Mark.
I've been trying to nail down exactly where QAK was located. I've heard the southeast corner of what is now Highway 100 and Interstate 494, but the roadways and buildings there have changed so much over the years that everyone picks a different "modern" building as the site.
So you tell me. Take a look at the aerials posted on www.historicaerials.com for that intersection, and see how it has changed over the years. My guess is that the Queen Anne Kiddieland site is essentially in the middle of Interstate 494 today. Use the Compare feature, and slide the aerial view between today and 1957 and tell me what you think.
3. Photo Friday: Aerial of Richmond Hills neighborhood - Chris Rofidal kindly provided a photo of the Richmond Hills neighborhood, and I neglected to credit the original donor, Bill and Doreen Just. Chris provided additional information on the background of the photo: Thanks for posting the picture. As I mentioned the original was given to me by Bill & Doreen Just at last years Edina Night to Unite block party. I then had it scanned so it can be saved. I was told by the Just's that a former Star Tribune photographer would fly around and take aerial shots. He did this a lot, but I don't recall his name. Seeing that we are just south of the GrandView District our neighborhood will be impacted with the new development so thanks for making reference to that topic and directing people there."
I know the main focus of the Night to Unite is crime prevention, but I like that neighbors talk about the history of their homes and neighborhoods as they get to know each other better. If you discover interesting neighborhood history, please share your stories with us. Email me or comment here.
Night to Unite is Tuesday, Aug. 7 this year. For more information, see the Edina Police web site.
4. Edina man helps save Minnesota's oldest manufacturing plant - Chuck Mooty of Edina and his cousin Paul Mooty have revived a business that dates back from 1865. Normally, I don't write about anything outside of Edina, but this piece of history (with its small Edina connection) is too interesting to pass up.
The Mootys have re-opened the Faribo blanket mill that closed in 2009 in the economic downturn, and the story has captured the attention all over, including a story in the Star Tribune today and an segment on the CBS Early show last year. (See video below)
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