It was just a few blocks from where I grew up on the East Side (Daytons Bluff) of St. Paul. As a child Saturday afternoons was a big deal because, with a couple of dimes for admission and some popcorn, I was allowed to walk up to the Mound Theater for the afternoon matinees. There I could watch John Wayne save Western Civilization in movies like the Sands of Iwo Jima or a never ending stream of cowboy movies. There were always several cartoons featuring the like of Bugs Bunny and serials such as the Mark of Zorro. Zorro, chased by outlaws, usually fell to his presumed doom off a cliff. Next week, there he was hanging on to a tree root over the precipice on his way to eventually capturing the bad guys.
The Mounds Theater at 1029 Hudson Road was built in 1922 and looked much as it did in this photo from 1950 . After a remodeling later in the year, the theater received a more modern stucco exterior. It was closed in 1967 and used as a warehouse until 2001. Then in 2002 it is was renovated and reopened as a neighborhood performing arts center.