As I a special treat, I found out River Falls’s beloved Falls Theater was featured on Twin Cities Live today. The Falls Theater has been a great asset to River Falls since it opened in 1927. It is hard to believe, but that is 85 years ago now. Audrey Alton, who I know very well used to work there as an usher. I personally never remember any theater that had an usher. Although there were five managers before him, Stan McCulloch, who bought and managed the theater starting in 1972, came to be famous for his generosity and giving to River Falls as a community. Stan was approached in 1995, to open a multiplex in Riverside Square, but he politely refused. He ended up owning the theater for 30 years, longer than anyone else. His daughter Michelle “Mickey” has been the head of the theater for last ten years already. 2002 does not seem that long ago to me, but it is! Mickey along with her children and long standing crew continue to keep this wonderful asset to River Falls open every day of the year. The commitment is enormous, but rewarding, it is home to their family. It still blows me away when they get first week movies at only $3.00 a pop, latest example being Hunger Games, and on May 4 – The Avengers! (with scheduled midnight showing)
My first real memory of going to the Falls Theater was in 1981 when I was 5 years old. The movie playing was Raiders of the Lost Ark. I remember Main Street was torn up at that time for renovation. Both my parents went to the movie with me, somewhat of a rarity after my parent’s divorce in 1978. Raiders is one of my favorite movies of all time, one of the very few I can say most of the lines before the actors say them. Amazingly years later, I found two things that verified that day of movie going. I found my father’s diary he kept from that year with an entry “Danny went with me and Marcia to Raiders tonight.” Not only that, but while looking through the River Falls Journal file photographs, I found one with Raiders playing at it and the street tore up. I guess my memory is not that bad after all, even for a five year old. I love the fact they have an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom poster up in the lobby now. When Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull opened there in 2008, I saw the movie there 5 times, the most times I have seen a movie in the theater since 1989’s Batman (also at the Falls Theater). I have seen probably a few hundred movies there at least, the last one being the Hunger Games this past weekend. What is the first movie you remember seeing at the Falls Theater? Leave a comment below!
For the link to the story of the Falls Theater on the KSTP website click here:
For the Falls Theater Website with a lot more history of the theater and latest movie showtimes and reviews go to:
I always prefer the Falls Theater before any other theater. They always seem to get the movies I am interested in during opening weekend. There is more history going to be made at the Falls Theater this year! Stay tuned! Here’s hoping for another 85 years of movie going!