the Renovation Project
The Mounds Theatre renovation was a project led by Raeann Ruth
and her nonprofit organization, which refurbished
the old Mounds Theater building and transformed it into a new
grassroots theater and community center for St. Paul's Dayton's
completed, the theater is used for plays and other types of live
entertainment, movies, concerts, weddings and receptions, educational
activities and neighborhood gatherings. The building is located
at 1029 Hudson Road near Earl Street. Work began on the building
in late 2001 and was finished in October 2003. General Contractor:
Raddatz and Sons Construction, Arden Hills, MN
renovation project addressed the needs of the Dayton's Bluff area
at several levels;
As home base for several arts and culture organizations, it
creates a new "service center" in a strategically located, under-served
section of the East Side
As a grass roots meeting and activity center, it serves as
a magnet for community building events
As a performing arts center, the theater provides a venue for
public expression and celebration of the Daytons Bluff area's
unique and diverse cultures as well as a place where area residents
can experience "traveling productions" from outside their immediate
Refurbishing the property reduced the number of boarded-up
buildings and blight in an under utilized, formerly thriving commercial
Refurbishing the property created employment and entrepreneurial
opportunities for area residents including the extended families
of youth served by theatre's non profit.
events in late 1999/early 2000 led to the development of this
George Hardenbergh, owner of the Mounds Theatre building,
indicated his intent to donate the property it would be renovated into a facility to address unmet
needs of youth and families on St. Paul's East Side.
The Portage obtained bids to determine the cost of renovating
the 1920s movie theater into a community and performing arts center.
A STAR grant through the City of St. Paul was secured and
a sizeable donation from an anonymous donor toward renovation
costs was pledged.
Potential nonprofit tenants and partners were involved in
the planning of the new facility.
Ongoing operation of the completed facility was also considered.
Several tenants expressed interest in leasing space on a permanent
or occassional basis.
The interior of the
theatre, used as a warehouse for almost 50 years.
Echoes of its former
glory were evident even after years of neglect.
After years of hard
work, the theatre is restored!
Respectful of its origional
1920's beginnings, the theatre leans heavily on an Art Deco theme
for its interior, as seen here at the restored ticket booth.