Future Best Place in Duluth? NorShor Theatre

Restore Nor Shor campaign poster

My jazz hands are flailing! The NorShor Theatre is coming back! Honestly, I haven’t been a Duluthian long enough to have had the privilege to attend a show or 10 there, but I believe this gem of a venue will soon be a vital piece of the Twin Ports region again.

Restore NorShor posters are proudly being displayed in almost every business and cranny in the downtown area. Duluth’s Historic Art Deco Theatre is long overdue for an overhaul. It still sits vacant on east Superior Street in Downtown Duluth, but come 2015 says Christine Gradlseitz, upon completion of  the estimated $22 million restoration, Duluthians and visitors will be in for a treat.

The NorShor Theatre is a pretty cool place in the heart of our city. Minnesota greats like The Big Wu, Trampled by Turtles, Charlie Parr and a slew of Homegrown artists and performers once had the opportunity to jam here. As a matter of fact, Duluth’s own Homegrown Music Festival is largely rooted in this venue, and there is no doubt this completed project will positively impact the livelihood of future events and the Zenith City.

According to norshortheatre.com, “As a landmark in downtown Duluth, the NorShor Theatre played a significant role in our city’s history, and in the lives of so many of our residents.  Restoring it to its grandeur as a center for arts and entertainment will bring a wide variety of new performances from local, regional, and national performers, and the opportunity for new experiences and memories for generations to come.

The NorShor  restoration will result in a much needed mid-size venue in Duluth. We can look forward to state-of-the-art acoustics, refurbished seating, a new lounge and reception area, and Executive Suites for rent. ADA compliance is obviously at the top of the priority list, making the building fully accessible to all.

Now as a bit of a non-imbiber, I am most looking forward to the return of the Milk Bar. “The plan” says, “A new bar and lounge highlighting the legendary 1940’s Milk Bar” will constitute a portion of the restoration. Evidently the NorShor was once the only theatre to house a Milk Bar, and I can’t help but wonder if this may be true going forward. What can I say? I’m excited to sip my way through chocolate malt after chocolate malt during future concerts, festivals, and theatrical performances.

Sheldon Aubut’s Duluth History

My Mom says, “Change is good, dollars are better.” So while we can definitely look forward to this fabulous upcoming change in our community, some funding is still needed. Almost $7 million dollars in bonding is being requested and an additional $2 million dollars, $800,000 of which has been collected, still needs to be raised. If you feel like chippin’ in a few bucks or contacting our legislators to ask for their support, don’t hesitate to explore “How You Can Help.” Restore NorShor is just one of many positive changes happening in our city, and I am confident we have another reason to look forward to more good times in D-Town.

Tory White

About Tory White

Tory is a big fan of voluntary simplicity and recently put her '87 Chevy Caprice woody wagon in storage just in time to welcome the cold, frigid, snowy Duluth winter. When she is not waiting for the bus (or walking to her next destination because it's almost always faster than waiting for the next bus) she enjoys participating in Duluth's fabulous running community and cruising the music circuit.

1 thought on “Future Best Place in Duluth? NorShor Theatre

  1. Margaret Lynch

    Across the country there have been several old theatres restored to their original glory, becoming valuable venues for concerts and other events. It is exciting to see the rehabbing of the NorShor Theatre and to look forward to what this potentially means to Duluth and the north shore. This is a treasure worth the investment of time and money.

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