Meet the New Main

Meet the New Main


MSP Film Society is thrilled to share the news that we will be taking over operations at the St. Anthony Main Theatre and programming all screens beginning in 2022! Our doors are closed now as work begins on refreshing and relaunching the theater as MSP Film at The Main —just in time for the 2022 MSP International Film Festival, slated for May 5 - 19, 2022.

For the past 60 years, the MSP Film Society has been the regional go-to for international and independent cinema. From our humble but groundbreaking beginnings in 1962 as the U Film Society, armed with the mission of bringing Arthouse film and New Wave masters to the Twin Cities, MSP Film Society has grown into the Upper Midwest’s leading nonprofit exhibitor of bold and exciting films by established and emerging filmmakers from around the globe and here at home. Now, we are poised to expand those offerings.

“For so long, we have dreamed of becoming even more of a cultural magnet by creating a year-round community cinema space where we can experience the expansive, inspiring, and entertaining world of international and independent film together,” said Susan Smoluchowski, Executive Director of MSP Film Society. “We are eager to launch MSP Film at The Main and invite our film loving and filmmaking community to join us as we continue to provide a unique window on the world for the next 60 years.”

MSP Film Society looks forward to bringing more of the bounty of MSPIFF’s inclusive, extensive, and groundbreaking programming to the Twin Cities and expanding our year-round programs, including hosting more insightful guests and inspiring filmmakers. Operating all screens also allows us to expand our MN-Made program, providing opportunities for our homegrown talent to screen their films for local audiences, and for our community partners to share the theater for special screenings and events.

“Connecting independent storytellers with audiences is what we’re all about, and this exciting new venture will create untold opportunities for that cinematic intersection to grow,” said Jesse Bishop, MSP Film Society’s Program Director. “Daily programming on all five screens at The Main is a big step forward for us, and we are excited to begin crafting a destination where you are certain to be surprised, entertained, comforted, informed, seen and heard, through the movies.”

In 2008, MSP Film Society expanded the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) by moving to the St. Anthony Main Theatre, which proved to be the perfect venue for our festival headquarters. It allowed us to program on all five screens and create a true festival experience, where audiences could easily go from one screening to the next and mingle with other film lovers and filmmakers in between. In 2010, we began year-round programming in SAM’s Theater 3, with the intent that one day we might take over operations of the entire theater and carry over the experience of MSPIFF into year-round programming on all five screens.

“As the longtime owner of the Stone Arch Cinema (aka St. Anthony Main Theatre), I look forward to working with the MSP Film Society to create the neighborhood theater we have always wanted here at St. Anthony Main,” said John Rimarcik. “There couldn’t be a better entity to make this happen than the Film Society.”

MSP Film Society has been making plans to refurbish and refresh the entire theater complex for an upgraded experience, from the moment you approach our building along the Mississippi riverfront, to moving through the ticketing and concessions stand in the lobby, to the screenings rooms themselves. As with any major undertaking, the finer details are constantly in flux. Please check back often as we update this page with our progress. Changes will include:

  • Renaming and rebranding the theater as: MSP Film at The Main.
  • A rich and varied mix of film programming on all screens all year long.
  • New theater marquee incorporating the current historic lightbulb sign: The Main.
  • Updated and modernized theater - to be completed in phases.
  • Upgraded projection equipment with open and closed caption options.
  • New concession selections –but we are sticking with the famed “best popcorn in the Twin Cities!”
  • Expansion of our community programming partnerships.
  • New screening opportunities for Minnesota filmmakers and MN-Made films.
  • Year-round film festivals, including MSPIFF and CINE LATINO, on all 5 screens.
  • Expanding our COVID-19 policies to the entire MSP Film at The Main building.
Concept art by Marcelo Valdes
Concept art by Marcelo Valdes
Concept art by Marcelo Valdes

Click an image above to enlarge.


As we transition into this exciting new cinematic era, MSP Film encourages the entire film loving community to help ensure a vibrant future for cinematic arts in Minnesota by donating, becoming members, or renewing memberships. These will become all the more valuable in 2022!

The MSP Film Society is a dynamic 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to fostering a knowledgeable and vibrant appreciation of the art of film and its power to inform and transform individuals and communities. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.