The Le Sueur Theater on Main Street in Le Sueur, Minnesota, opened in 1884. The building was originally a warehouse that W.C. Snow converted into Snow’s Opera House. The theater soon became an integral part of the community as people from neighboring hamlets came to town to see plays, orchestra concerts, vaudeville acts, and attend balls at the theater. There was even a cutting-edge kinetoscope player there in the 1890s that showed short motion pictures to one person at a time.
In 1916, Henrietta Starkey purchased the theater and renamed it Star Theater. She increased the seating to 250 and started playing moving pictures to the masses. Unfortunately, a fire at the theater in 1933 left only the front and a side wall standing. It was rebuilt on the same spot and reopened in November of that year. During the Depression and war years, free Saturday matinees included cartoons for kids.
Since then, subsequent owners have operated the theater, each leaving their own mark on the theater. Then it sat unused for many years, to the dismay of many townspeople. Then, in 2016, the building was purchased with the hope of restoring the once-majestic theater to its former glory. That work has been slow – as we all know, funding a project like this can be difficult. You can follow their page on Facebook to keep up with their progress.