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Reasons to Love Minnesota No. 64: Parkway Theater

Repertory screenings with inspired cocktails (and so much more)

What’s more purifying than a dip in Lake Minnetonka? Watching on a big screen, cocktail in hand, as besotted Apollonia Kotero dives topless into what she thinks is Minnetonka (it’s actually the frigid Minnesota River in Henderson), while an amused, motorcycle-straddling Prince looks on.⁣

Yup, friends, it finally happened. We lost our Purple Rain virginity, which we toasted with a magenta-hued Purple One tribute cocktail. (Don’t yell at us; we know we should have memorized the movie before moving to Minnesota… but we were just toddlers when it came out!) The screening was held at the freshly renovated Parkway Theater in Diamond Lake—an encore presentation booked after the first two showings, slated back-to-back on the third anniversary of Prince’s death, sold out.⁣

In a fun twist, many of the repertory films played at Parkway are paired with creative, well-balanced drinks. The Cocktail Formerly Known As Purple Rain, pictured up top, was fashioned with concord grape juice, silver tequila, a house-made sour mix, lavender tincture, a lime-soaked frozen grape garnish, and lime crema liqueur from Tattersall Distilling. Previous specials include I Ain’t Got Thyme to Bleed (cucumber-and-mint vodka, thyme and mint syrup, house-made sour, egg whites, and bitters) for Predator, the Baumer (shiitake- and miso-infused vodka, celery, cucumber, pepper, parsley, ginger, and tomato juice) for The Royal Tenenbaums, and Mogwai’s Midnight Matcha (vodka, creme de cacao, green tea, cream, vanilla, honey, and a matcha Pocky stick) for Gremlins.⁣

Following the theater’s $1 million renovation, Parkway co-owners Ward Johnson and Eddie Landenberger are determined to make the 88-year-old movie palace more than a nostalgia trip by booking concerts, standup comedy, live podcasts, and A-list speakers at the 368-seat venue. Check the calendar for rad upcoming events such as a talk by cartoonist Jessica Abel; a bluegrass battle of the bands, a.k.a. The Parkway Pick-off; and an evening with the one and only Sandra Bernhard.

The Parkway Theater
4818 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN; 612-822-8080.