Princess Theater

21 East Seventh Street
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Builder: Kilgen Organ Co., 1917.
Manuals: 2
Ranks: 11
Action: Electro-pneumatic

Notes: The Princess Theatre was notable because it was the first theatre of the Finkelstein & Ruben chain of movie houses, which would eventually be comprised of almost 150 theaters not only in the Twin Cities and Minnesota, but also the Dakotas and Wisconsin, as well.

The Princess Theatre was built in 1909, at a cost of over $50,000 by architect Mark Fitzpatrick, and seat around 800. The theatre’s Beaux-Arts facade, of ornate terra cotta, stained glass and a simple-but-elegant iron and glass canopy marquee brought a feel of sophistication to E. 7th Street. Early newspaper advertisements boasted the Princess Theatre was “the safest, coolest and best ventilated theatre in the state”. Opening night including three vaudeville acts and short and feature length movies.

Two years after opening, Finkelstein & Ruben added a 400-seat balcony and twelve boxes, bringing the Princess Theatre total seating to over 1,200, due to the increased popularity of the theatre. However, the Princess Theatre was already becoming outdated by the mid-1920’s, and was closed in 1926. Five years later, it was torn down.

David L. Junchen's Encyclopedia of the American Theater Organ, Vol. 1 and Organ Historical Society as of 2017.