Save the Terrace Theatre

Many municipalities have the sense to recognize that an historic building, a one-of-kind treasure, is a commodity that no one else has. With vision, leadership, and economic and social common sense, there are myriad ways to reinvent such places. We are stunned that Robbinsdale leaders would bend over backwards for development that would not permit the Terrace to be sold to those who wish to reinvent it and bring it to glory. Instead, they framed their negotiation as “pro-HyVee” or “anti-HyVee,” when no one would have opposed having both. Sadly, Robbinsdale citizens became pawns in this, forced into “pro’ and ‘anti’ when that division was not the best explanation of the issue. The city’s statistically-errant “survey” on the issue was too little, too late, and too poorly planned, and served only to justify the decisions already made. Our elderly relatives and neighbors never got a chance to fill out any survey.

The contractor’s rush to demolish the Terrace, especially knowing that an appeal was in the works, is reprehensible and only digs the community’s wounds deeper.

When we consider our own mortality, we think of what we leave behind — for our children and for the future. Yet another big box store, that will deteriorate into a pile of toxic waste (perhaps even before it’s TIF-district funding ever pays off!)? Or an awe-inspiring building that chronicles the golden age of movie glam; a testament to its time that will be there, wowing others, long after we are gone?

It’s a sad thing indeed that the amazing Terrace Theatre has had the misfortune of being rooted in a community with so little respect for it. Thank goodness for those who have tried to come to its rescue! It is truly a treasure for all Minnesotans, yet if big money has its way, it will soon be razed for a parking lot.

Patrick Tomson,