The site of the Park Theater Building was the property of M. Parry in 1893; he owned the entire tract that includes City Hall, the Garden Village Apartments on Raleigh, the condos at 5101 Minnetonka, Skippy Field, and Menorah Plaza.
The builders of the Park Theater, built in 1939, were ahead of their time by including an adjacent commercial building. It has four stores on the ground floor and offices on the second. The stairway to the second floor had a motorized chair on a railing.
These are just a few of the many businesses that operated in the building: This, of course, cannot begin to list all of the businesses that have been in the Park Theater Building over the last almost 70 years. Please contact us with any additions or corrections.
Bar-Ett Realty Co, 1961 at 4825 Minnetonka.
Behning Hardware is listed in a September 1950 ad at 4815 Minnetonka. In a 1953 ad they are listed at 4831 Minnetonka. They are at 4813 Minnetonka from 1956-60. Did they move or did someone transpose the numbers?
Bird Cage Restaurant. The Bird Cage opened in October 1944 by the Hadreus brothers. An ad in the Echo touts “Banana splits! Chili! Coneys! Best Pie in Town.” An article in the Echo describes it as such:
The Bird Cage has been expertly designed to please the eye, as well as the appetite. The larger partition in the back is decorated in fuchsia and ivory, with mirrored paneling and striped walls. Small half-moon shaped booths, trimmed in green line one side, opposite the high-built, attractive counter. As a finishing touch, the owners have purchased two colorful African love birds, which give the rooms an interesting and exotic appearance.
Al Hartman continues the story:
Ruth (Wold) Burnes bought it and put it in the name of her son, Charles “Chuck” Spencer Burnes Jr. because she wanted him to have a business when he got out of the service but also she could not have the business in her name as woman had trouble even trying to have their own checking accounts at the time. Chuck went into the service in 1944 and where he was both a gunner and a cook. Ruth’s husband was incapacitated due to early onset Alzheimer’s and Ruth ran the business. The eating place was true to its name and had a large bird cage inside filled with finches. Ruth would take any sickly looking finches home to nurse back to health in cages in her garage. The style of food would best be described as American Comfort Food: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and such. When Chuck came home from the service, however, he made it clear he did not want to run a restaurant. Ruth was not happy that her son did not want any part of the Bird Cage but she continued to run it until 1954 while Chuck instead got a job with Northern States Power Company. For years Ruth still kept the bird cage and the birds that were left in her garage along with other parts of the restaurant. Her granddaughter Jane remembers playing in and around these items in her youth. Jane also said that for years after she would run into people who gave glowing reports of how they enjoyed Ruth’s food.
Blue Baker Inn (4833), owned by Margaret McDonald and Louis Malberg. Malberg had a bakery in Hopkins.
Ad from 1939 directory
Give My Regards To…: 4833 (November 1979). Personalized gifts and stationery, party ware, invitations.
Oscar Hansen Hardware (formerly Westerdahl), February 1949
Highland Delicatessen: 4833 (1952-60). A 1955 ad reads: For the person who enjoys imported delicacies, Irving Malmon of the Highland Delicatessen has exotic foods from all over the world. Whether you crave caviar from the Caspian Sea or some Danish cheese, you’ll find a world of food in a nutshell at the Highland Delicatessen.
C.L. Hurd Agency – Insurance and Mortgage Loans
Jonte Studios (1981)
Jorvig’s Floral Shop (1939-41) Owned by Torval and Edna Jorvig and staffed at various times by their sons. “We specialize in corsages.”
Jurgen’s Salon (2008)
Linsk Flowers (1966 – 1992).
Mootz & Schmidt Appliances (1955-56) Their grand opening was in December 1955. Owned by A. Robert Mootz and Clifford L. Schmidt. The store sold appliances, TVs, and Lionel trains. In January 1956 they advertised a contest in the Echo, giving away free 45 rpm records.
Park Apparel (1950). Women’s and children’s wear.
Park Realty and Insurance Co. (1939)
Ad from 1939 directory
Park Theater Barber Shop: 4827/31 – B.H. Thompson, former manager, Hotel Radisson Barber Shop (1939); Four Barbers (1956); Lee Rye and Frank Keller (1962)
Roy’s Flower Shop (1941)
Rye and Keller Barbershop (1948) – 4821
SLP Beauty Salon – Amybell Waarner, Manager
Louis E. Schricker, DDS
Dr. Archie M. Smith
Suburban Electric Shop (1939 – 1941). This was actually more of an appliance store, possibly run by Carroll Hurd. New refrigerators $99.95 and up.
Suburban Finance (1939)
Taj Mahal Hair Stylists (1970)
Tom Richards Studio – Portrait and Commercial Photography (1940)
Twin City Monument (2008)
H.O. Westerdahl, DDS
Westerdahl’s Hardware (1939-49). In 1940 the store sold guns. In January 1949 it was advertised as managed by Oscar Hanson, and became Hansen Hardware in February 1949.
At one point a previous owner had named the building “J. Perzel Place.”