MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For the first time in 18 months, the curtains will lift again at two well-known Minneapolis theaters. While this is big news for the local arts scene, it’s also important for surrounding businesses.

After being closed well over a year due to the pandemic, the Guthrie Theater is opening their first season back with a brand new play called “What the Constitution Means to Me,” and up next is the beloved “A Christmas Carol” running through the holidays.

It’s the excitement of the new and the return of tradition that will draw so many more people back to downtown again. And nearby businesses are counting on this.

RELATED: After 18 Months And Millions In Lost Revenue, Guthrie Theater To Reopen

The Guthrie has several restaurants nearby. And the Orpheum, which opens Thursday with the musical version of “Frozen,” has even more restaurants and bars along Hennepin Avenue that rely on the theater crowd. One of them is Gluek’s.


Before the pandemic, Gluek’s was open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Now they only open on the days when they know there’s an event happening. Gluek’s is open for the theater crowd Thursday and through the weekend.

“When they have their plays…we’re always in tune to all that stuff,” said owner Lee Holcomb. “When they go out to see a play at night, they go out to dinner first, so we keep track of everything that’s going on downtown.”

For those attending performances at the Guthrie or Orpheum, masks are required, as well as a proof of vaccine card or negative COVID test. Ticket information can be found here: Guthrie Theater and Orpheum Theater.

“Frozen” runs for three weeks at the Orpheum.

Both theaters hope that the new shows will boost revenue. Like many other theaters across the country, the Guthrie was shut down for a year and a half as it tried to figure out its next move. That closure meant layoffs and a loss in revenue of about $28 million.

What kept that theater running was $7 million in combined federal loans and generous donations from the public, but in order for them to keep going, they say they need people buying tickets to see their shows.