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Trylon microcinema gets bigger! Reopening debut planned Aug. 16

Posted on 24 July 2017 by calvin

Trylon Outside FinalThe new Trylon courtyard and entrance will be on 33rd St. (Courtesy of MSR Design)
The Trylon on Minnehaha Ave. is getting a makeover this summer that will take the “micro” out of their microcinema. Adding space formerly used by Moon Palace books, renovations include moving the entrance around the corner to 33rd St. (on the other side of Peace Coffee), creating an outdoor courtyard and lobby, and adding 50 more seats and a bigger screen. MSR Design (designers of Mill City Museum) provided architectural services pro bono to bring big changes to the little cinema.

The newly reconfigured entrance will be the most noticeable difference. Executive Director Barry Kryshka is excited about having a lobby that’s much more social, instead of the long skinny hallway you walked through before.

“It’s a big thing for me, having a space before and after the film,” said Kryshka. “There will no longer be a moment of trepidation in the hallway.” Instead, moviegoers will see the box office and immediately know they’re in the right place—and have some room to gather where concessions of candy and popcorn (from Whole Grain Milling) will still be offered.

Trylon Executive Director Barry KryshkaPhoto left: Trylon Executive Director Barry Kryshka stands in front of the sign on 33rd St., which will mark the new entrance to the cinema. They are taking the “micro” out of their microcinema. (Photo by Jill Boogren)

As for the auditorium itself, patrons will now enter from a wheelchair-accessible doorway facing the middle of the theater, as opposed to entering at the back. The screen is moving about 20 feet forward, and more seats are being added to double the seating to 100. All the old seats, which came from the original Waconia 6 theater, will also be replaced. To enable viewers to see over the people in front of them, they’ve dug down, so the new seats are lower than the current floor. This gives the theater more height, so they’re bringing in a taller screen.

In its ninth year, Trylon is a nonprofit theater that also screens at The Heights and, occasionally, the Riverview Theater. Part-time employees handle the booth, programming, and design, but they run mostly on volunteers who take care of the box office and a little bit of design, office work, promo, and projection. They show old classics, cult classics, indie films—movies you’re not likely to see at the big box multiplex.

The taller screen will help with the presentation of classics, said Kryshka. “We were pretty good at doing really wide, but having extra height helps with some formats.”

Their goal is to have access to the biggest library possible and keeping 35mm as well as having state of the art digital gives them more of a range to choose from.

Trylong front street signPhoto right: The Trylon marquee on Minnehaha Ave. (Photo by Jill Boogren)

“We let the film tell us what it should be,” said Kryshka. When showing older films, they offer 35mm, whenever available. There may be less of it around, but a few cinemas—The Heights, the Walker Art Center, the Emagine Willow Creek in the suburbs—are increasingly booking 70mm film prints when they can get them. “So film is not as gone as we think sometimes.”

They also really enjoy handling 35mm film. Kryshka is quick to point out that he doesn’t resist technology. “But from a mechanics point of view, there’s something great about saying ‘Nothing can go wrong with a film that you can’t fix with tape,’” he said.

One trend Kryshka may resist is the tendency for movie theaters to be more like home theaters, which he thinks is the opposite of what they should be doing. “Why not make it more of a one-time entertainment experience?” he said. He’s had people suggest there’s no technical reason you can’t watch movies at home, to which he replies that there’s no technical reason you can’t drink whiskey alone in your basement, but bars aren’t going out of business.

“Hopefully the Internet won’t completely ruin social interaction,” he said.

You can expect the same eclectic schedule of film offerings when Trylon reopens in August. They screen horror classics and concert movies (among the last films shown before renovation began were “The Blob” and Prince’s concert movie “Sign ‘o’ the Times”), as well as Minnesota-made and Hollywood’s Golden Age greats.

Ask Kryshka what types of movies they show and he’ll say “Everything!”

“We want to be all over the place,” he said. “Ideally, we want things every month that get the attention of viewers that haven’t had reason to be here yet.”

But they do have longstanding partnerships that bring series to the Trylon in an array of film genres: Sound Unseen, Cult Film Collective, Northern Exposure (Minnesota-made), and the Film Trash Debauchery series, to name a few.

So, what better way to invite moviegoers back to your theater than with a slasher comedy about a murderous projectionist on a rampage in an abandoned theater? Run, don’t walk, to “Popcorn” (1991, rated R), on Wed., Aug. 16, for their reopening debut.

For movie listings and ticket info, see

Enjoy your popcorn!

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