When I tell people I grew up in Wadena, Minn., I usually get blank faces, even from people who are residents of Minnesota.
The tiny town set in the farm fields of central Minnesota (which, I usually mention to those who are unaware of the nuances of Minnesota geography, is closer to Fargo, N.D., than to the Twin Cities) isn’t renown for much beyond the tornado that wiped out the high school a couple of years ago. But it earned a new title yesterday: Home of Minnesota’s best movie theater.
WCCO-TV News put the question to viewers, and viewers responded: The Cozy Theater is tops. (Read about it here.)
It’s so iconic, the signs marking the entry to town mimic the theater’s distinctive Art Deco-style architecture.
My high school diaries are filled with references to whatever movie I appreciated (or hated) at the time and it even earned a few lines in my work-in-progress memoir about 1982:
The Cozy was an icon in Wadena. The historic building sat on a high-traffic corner on Main Street. The Art Deco marquee lined in lights touted the movie of the week on the theater’s only screen. … I imagined people inside enjoying the velvet seats and buttery popcorn.