ARNESON ACRES PARK IS Home to City Gardens and a Museum
By Jill MacPhail

Arneson Acres Park is home to two of the community’s jewels – the City’s official gardens and the Edina Historical Society and Museum.

Arneson Acres Park is located at 4711 W. 70th Street, just east of Minnesota Highway 100. The gardens at Arneson include more than 200 varieties of annuals and perennials, including unique flowers such as abutilon, climbing roses, alternanthera, prairie sun, purple majesty and magnolias. Edina resident Mort Arneson donated the land for the park in 1961, and lived on the property until 1983. A gazebo, fountains, a memory garden and large perennial beds have been added to the park.

Each May, the Edina Garden Council holds a plant sale at the park. In addition to popular annuals and vegetables, many of the varieties found in the park can be purchased at the sale.

Arneson offers two facilities for rental. The outdoor gazebo, located in the formal gardens in the middle of the park, is often used for wedding ceremonies, anniversary parties and birthday celebrations. The indoor Terrace Room (which overlooks the park) holds 60 people, and is often used for smaller gatherings and celebrations.

The Terrace Room is located on the lower level of the building that was once the Arneson family home. The upper level is used as exhibit and meeting space for the Edina Historical Society and Museum.

The Edina Historical Society and Museum uncovers and preserves the history of the City of Edina - a history recorded in artifacts, buildings and sites, written records and photographs. The Society also records memories of long-time residents and descendants of pioneers.

EDINA LIGHTS UP the Streets & Sky for Independence Day
By Jennifer Bennerotte

If the old adage “everyone loves a parade” is true, Edina residents and visitors are no exception.

The City of Edina’s only annual community celebration is held on the Fourth of July, beginning with a spectacular parade. There are veterans to applaud, clowns to put a smile on your face and marching bands with music sure to get your feet stomping and hands clapping. Parade favorites are costumed characters, area middle and high school marching bands, theater groups and stilt-walkers. Last year, the parade included slightly more than 70 units and attracted about 5,000 spectators.

The parade route is approximately one mile long and runs from Edina City Hall, 4801 W. 50th St., to the intersection of 50th Street and Halifax Avenue, ending in downtown Edina.
There are several activities to celebrate Independence Day later in the day. Most years, the Edina Historical Society opens its buildings at Frank Tupa Park, 4918 Eden Ave., immediately following the parade. The site includes two restored historical buildings – the one-room Cahill School (built in 1864) and the Minnehaha Grange Hall (built in 1879).

The Edina Aquatic Center, 4300 W. 66th St., has special hours for the day, and the Edina Art Center, 4701 W. 64th St., hosts an open house 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. The open house marks the end of the annual Student Art Exhibition. The Art Center is in the northwest corner of Rosland Park, where fireworks are presented at sunset after a performance by the First John Philip Sousa Band, beginning at 8:45 p.m. The fireworks, sponsored by Fairview Southdale Hospital, can be seen from every side of Lake Cornelia.

For more information on the parade or other Fourth of July activities, contact City of Edina Recreation Supervisor Susie Miller at 952-826-0433.

By Brett Carlson and Jill MacPhail

There are numerous theaters in the Edina area, including both large and smaller, more intimate theaters. Whatever your silver screen preferences may be, Edina has the theater to entertain you.

At the heart of Southdale Center’s The District on France, a new AMC Cinema features 16 theaters with stadium-style seating. All theaters are equipped with digital sound and high-back rocker seats. In addition, VIP seats with catering are available. The theater was opened in 2002 as part of the shopping center’s expansion, and features a wide variety of new releases. Its large size and location in the southwest metropolitan area make it a popular choice for moviegoers.

In 2003, the theater, formerly MegaStar, served as the premiere location for Hollywood Homicide, starring Minnesota native Josh Harnett.

Tickets can be purchased three days in advance. For tickets and show times, call 651-777-3456, extension 580.

Priding itself in its quaint atmosphere and friendly staff, AMC Centennial Lakes 8 is located at 73rd Street and France Avenue.

AMC Centennial Lakes 8, which opened as General Cinema, was part of the original multi-use development of Centennial Lakes. AMC is a smaller theater that offers a different selection of movies from its larger competitors. Many people choose AMC as a way of avoiding large crowds and long lines. Few of AMC’s movies sell out largely because they specialize in film festival type movies. Movies such as “House of the Dead” and “Luther” are examples of this differentiation. AMC employs just 25 people, making their staff a tight knit group that contributes to a family-oriented, movie-going experience.

For tickets and show times, call

The Yorktown Cinema Grill offers great movies, spirits and meals – all in one place.

This theater, located at York Avenue South and Hazelton Road, has seating at tables in padded swivel chairs rather than traditional theater seating. Guests have the option of being served food, beer, wine or desserts throughout the movie. The Yorktown Cinema Grill is perfect for company gatherings, meetings, corporate seminars and birthday parties.

The theater shows both new releases and older films. The Yorktown Cinema Grill is one of the few remaining full-service theaters in the area, and ticket prices are greatly discounted from typical theater prices.

For tickets and show times, call

The Edina Theater, located at 50th and France, is an icon of downtown Edina.

The Edina Theater was built in the 1930s, and became a two-screen theater in 1976. Deluxe rocker-back seating was added in both auditoriums, and a third screen was added in the late 1970s.

Former owner Cineplex/Odeon closed the theater for extensive remodeling in 1989. Except for the historic front facade and the ticket booth, which was moved inside the foyer, the rest of the old cinema was demolished and replaced with a larger, two-story “multiplex” building. Inside, the new “Edina 4” has four wide-screen auditoriums – two upstairs and two on the main floor. Each level has its own concession stand. Patrons walk on marble floors amid neon lighting, and escalators whisk them upstairs.

The Edina Theater saw another big change in 2003. The fourplex was taken over by Landmark Theatres, a chain that runs a group of art-house type theaters in Minneapolis. The programming at the Edina Theater now consists of a mix of commercial movies and the foreign and independent-style films that are Landmark’s staple. The theater was changed after Landmark’s owner realized how many mainstream films had an art-house feel, and he wanted to bring those films to the suburbs of Minneapolis.

The four theaters at the Edina complex seat 1,300 people, more than any other theater in the Landmark chain.

For tickets and show times, call 952-926-1621.

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