The St Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis is set to begin a new life as 'MSP Film at The Main.' MSP Film Society, the organization behind the annual Minneapolis St Paul International Film Festival is taking over the five-screen complex.
The organization has programmed one screen in the theater since 2010, only occupying the entire place for the two-week International Festival. Now program director Jesse Bishop says the society will show a wide range of material year round.
"We'll be showing movies that people call movies, and movies that people call films. A little bit of everything,” Bishop said. He emphasized that the expansion in screens will help MSP Film Society to reach more audiences. “We are a neighborhood theater and we want to reach all of our audiences.”
A potential boon to work produced in Minnesota
"It will be another opportunity to show work by local filmmakers and connect them to local audiences," he said.
A multi-phased renovation of the building, and its film-showing capabilities, will begin in early January. Bishop says the first phase is set to be completed in time for the 2022 MSPIFF opening March 31st.
He admits things have been rough for movie presenters during the pandemic, but he is excited about the possibilities of the new arrangement.
"Look, we are going to be celebrating our 60th birthday in 2022, the Film Society founded in 1962 and we have been doing this for a very long time, since before I was around! And over the years we've developed this deep film-loving audience and we plan to have our mark here for the next 60 years."
MPR News is Reader Funded
Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.