Two Harbors theater celebrates its past, looks to the future
After being closed for more than three decades, the movie theater in Two Harbors opened its doors in May. Now, community members have a chance to learn more about this historic building's past at the Harbor Theater History Celebration.
After being closed for more than three decades, the movie theater in Two Harbors opened its doors in May. Now, community members have a chance to learn more about this historic building’s past at the Harbor Theater History Celebration.
The Harbor Theater is hosting the celebration on Saturday, Sept. 13, with an open house and tours, as well as a memories program. The Holisky family owned the theater from 1948 through the mid-1970s, and they approached the theater with the idea as a way to get community members together in the building, Harbor Theater manager April Schultz said.
“We are happy to be a part of it,” said Schultz. “This is a historic building, and my family has history in it and the town. I just think it will be great for everybody.”
According to Schultz, the theater has been working with Vicki Holisky-Crets, daughter of former owner Bill Holisky, for two months to plan the event.
“I’m excited to see the turnout and hear all the stories from back in the day,” Schultz said. “I think it’s an important part of the community, it’s past, present and future, and people should come down and be a part of its future so their kids can have these kinds of memories when they grow up.”
Holisky-Crets said her family doesn’t live in the area anymore, and the event was originally created to get them back in town to see what Wade Kimball, the new owner, has done with the renovations and reopening.
“I knew that my family would be excited and would want to see (the theater),” Holisky-Crets said. “So I planned the event so they would have a reason to come to town and see the theater, but then its purpose evolved into celebrating the history of the theater and sharing with the new owner things that happened at this theater in the past.”
The Harbor Theater History Celebration begins at 2 p.m. with an open house and tours.
The new Two Harbors Community Radio station will be at the event to interview people and record their memories of the Harbor Theater. According to Holisky-Crets, the station will be asking people questions such as what the first movie they saw there was, their favorite movie, and what they remember most about the theater from its heyday. The recordings will be saved for playback at a later time on the radio.
“The purpose of this open house is that Wade Kimball has renovated it and reopened it,” Holisky-Crets said. “It’s all about connecting with the community and having them come and share their stories and memories of the theater.”
During the open house, guests will have a chance to meet with the Kimball family and members of the Holisky family. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be the Program of Memories, which will begin with old cartoons.
“The cartoons we are showing are (from) a family archive and it’s a Dairy Queen commercial cartoon,” Holisky-Crets said. “My dad also used to own a Dairy Queen, and every spring when it opened he would show this little cartoon. So we are starting with that.”
After the cartoon, there will be a slideshow of classic slides of the old theater in its glory days and music by THUG (Two Harbors Ukulele Group), ending with the 1960 film Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson, which was selected by the Holisky family.
“I wanted a move that had universal appeal, and Disney movies usually have that. Also, this movie came out in 1960, which is the target year of the people I’m trying to reach because that’s when the theater was in its heyday,” Holisky-Crets said. “The last reason I picked that movie is because it’s my very favorite movie I’ve ever seen in the world, ever. I love the story of being stuck on an island and that whole adventure piece.”
She said she’s excited for her family and community members to see the changes in the theater.
“I’m so proud of the fact that Wade took the time and money and resources to make it beautiful again and I want everybody to see that and to feel the energy when they get that … excitement of remembering how it used to be, and here it is again,” she said. “So many people have said to me that they’ve been meaning to get over there, but they just haven’t gone yet, and this is the event to come and see it. This isn’t going to be an all-the-time thing and I just want to get people in the habit of going to the theater again.”
The 2 p.m. open house and tours are free for the public and the 7 p.m. Program of Memories is $5 per person. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by contacting Vicki Holisky-Crets at email@example.com .