Isle Theatre

1345 Second Avenue,
Cumberland, WI 54829

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Trolleyguy on June 19, 2023 at 9:25 am

Current function should be tavern. Now a bar and grill occupies the former theater at that address. Nezzy’s

DavidZornig on August 19, 2016 at 8:13 pm

This tidbit courtesy of the Old School Rice Lake Facebook page. It accompanied the 1935 photo of the Isle posted in 2008, with Zim Zim still painted on the exterior wall. It is the history of the Zim Zim name.

Note on the side of the building. The theater was once known as The Zim-Zim & the old sign was still there. At that time it was owned by Edward & Mae Zimmerman. In the 1920’s Mrs. Zimmerman was arrested multiple times for operating the theater on Sunday’s. The following is a Wednesday 9-16-1925 Rice Lake Chronotype story on Mrs. Zimmerman’s brush with the law —

Mrs. Mae Zimmerman of Cumberland,who has been waging a lone warfare against the blue law proponents of Barron county by operating her motion picture house on Sunday,is fast attaining the record of the most arrested woman in Wisconsin. The twentieth arrest of Mrs. Zimmerman was made last week. A new feature to the weekly arrest of Mrs. Zimmerman was the arrest of her husband,Edward,for attending the theater & operating the motion picture machine. Judge Kinsley of Barron,who has imposed the fines in all cases,assessed $10 & costs on four counts,charging violation of the law on the last four Sunday’s. Mrs. Zimmerman has vainly endeavered to have her case tried in her home town of Cumberland by a home town jury. The blue law proponents apparently do not want to give her a home town trial,as in one instance in which a warrant was issued by Municipal Judge Hart of Cumberland,it is alleged that Attorney Fuller,who signed the complaint,withdrew his complaint & filed another with Judge Kinsley of Barron. Mrs. Zimmerman has taken this phase of the fight up with the governor in the hope that he force the issue & give her a chance to have her case tried in her home town. She claims 90 percent of the people at Cumberland are with her. At the last trial in Barron,Mrs. Marthina Falkenburg,foreman of the jury,inquired why Mrs. Zimmerman was the only theater owner in Barron county arrested. Judge Kinsley informed her this had nothing to do with the case.

LouRugani on August 18, 2013 at 4:17 am

(From the closed theatre’s website:)

The Isle Theatre has undergone renovation, being completely restored and improved from the original, and was re-opened on April 18, 2008. It was built in 1921 as the Zim Zim Theatre. It was purchased and remodeled in 1935, and underwent a name change as the result of a naming competition. It is located in Downtown Cumberland, Wisconsin at 1345 2nd Avenue, and appropriately named “Isle Theatre”, piggy-backing off Cumberland’s nick-name the “Island City”, as the city limits are surrounded by the waters of Beaver Dam Lake.

The theatre had been closed since 1997, and with ideas of the building being torn down, former City Councilman, Tom Nesvold, pursued a buyer to preserve the downtown icon. Mark Ruppel, CEO of Ardisam located in Cumberland, says the company bought the building from the city, planning to re-open the theatre for the community because it holds so much history for the town and memories for the people who live there. “I’m a long time resident, I had my first date there like everybody else.” Ruppel says what better way to bring a piece of history back to Cumberland and share it with the whole town. “There’s nothing like experiencing a blockbuster movie that comes to town. It’s great to be at home with your family but it’s even greater to have your family out. It’s what creates community.”

Restoring the building isn’t just about the past. It’s creating a future. Mark and Ron Ruppel have partnered with Tom and Deanna Nesvold in creating an entertainment destination. The theatre offers area residents and guests a state-of-the-art viewing experience while retaining the character of the original theatre. With input from local artist, Jeff Hile, the original tin ceiling has been restored and is the focal point of the art deco interior design. The old projector is on display, and 150 original seats re-upholstered, including the classic “love-seats”. While the theatre was under construction, a vintage poster was found folded up in the ceiling at the back of the building. The poster is from the 1919 Paramount Pictures Silent Movie, “Louisiana”, starring Vivian Martin and is on display, along with historical Cumberland Photos. The remodel includes an entirely new lobby, snack bar, rest rooms, and a new sound and projection system. Nezzy’s Sports Bar & Grill is adjacent to the theatre at the back-side of the building and has access to the theatre to expand the entertainment value for movie-goers. The theatre is available to rent for special occasions or meetings.

We hope you enjoy the Isle Theatre experience!

rivest266 on January 6, 2013 at 1:03 pm

according to and its facebook page, it closed in October

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 30, 2009 at 9:47 pm

The Isle Theatre is open again, showing movies, and here is their web site. The site says the house was built in 1921, when it opened as the Zim Zim Theatre. It was remodeled in 1935 and renamed the Isle Theatre. It was closed in 1997 and restored recently. A sports bar has been added to the back of the building.

The March 24, 1951, issue of Boxoffice Magazine told of an earlier remodeling of the the Isle Theatre, saying that it was virtually a new theater, everything having been torn out and replaced and the interior and entrance rebuilt.

kencmcintyre on November 16, 2007 at 10:57 am

Here is more information on the grant:

City of Cumberland – $61,040 â€" SAG 415 The city of Cumberland (population 2,357), located in Barron County in northern Wisconsin, received a $61,040 Brownfield Site Assessment Grant. The SAG Funds will be used to conduct Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments, demolish existing buildings and remove numerous abandoned containers and solid waste. The property is the former Isle Movie Theater, located at 1345 Second Avenue. The goal for the city is to obtain ownership and redevelop the property as a park/green space that will link the central business district and the Library Lake shoreline.

biograph68 on November 16, 2007 at 10:31 am

I should have noted the grant above was specific to the Isle Theater.

biograph68 on November 16, 2007 at 10:30 am

This link View link
indicates the City of Cumberland was awarded $61,040 from the State of Wisconsin as part of an environmental assessment grant.