Uptown Theatre

103 N. Barstow Street,
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Paramount Pictures Inc.

Architects: Jack J. Liebenberg

Firms: Liebenberg and Kaplan

Previous Names: O'Klare Theatre, New O'Klare Theatre

Nearby Theaters

O'Klare Theatre, Eau Claire, Wisconsin in 1917

The 800-seat O'Klare Theatre was opened by 1926. It was closed by 1931 and for several years it went into commercial use. The O'Klare Theatre was remodeled to the plans of architectural firm Liebenberg & Kaplan, and the New O'Klare Theatre was opened on June 14, 1935 with Gearge Burns & Gracie Allen in “Love in Bloom”. It was operated by Minnesota Amusement Co. All 500 seats were on a single floor. By 1940 it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. through their subsidiary John Friedl.

On September 28, 1951 it was renamed Uptown Theatre, but this was short lived and it closed in 1952.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on November 14, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Looks like architects were Jack Liebenberg and Seeman Kaplan:

kencmcintyre on December 24, 2008 at 10:00 pm

Boxoffice magazine reported in January 1935 that twenty thousand dollars was being spent to convert the building from a garage to a theater. It may have been a garage after it closed in 1926. Architects were noted as being Liebenberg & Kaplan.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 19, 2011 at 3:59 am

I found a reference to the O'Klare Theatre being on North Barstow, not South Barstow, but I don’t know the exact source. It’s a Google Document reproducing page 295 of an unidentified book. The page describes a number of businesses in Eau Claire, and the paragraph about the theater says it was in “…the second building beyond the bridge….”

I think the address currently listed must also be wrong. The 1000 blocks are residential areas on the edge of town, and I don’t see any bridges near them in Google Street View. The only bridge on Barstow Street is in the center of town, and it’s the dividing line for north-south street numbers.

Did the listed address mistakenly get a superfluous 3 in it? I’m thinking the O'Klare might have been at 105 N. Barstow Street. 105 probably would have been in the second building north of the bridge, as the block would have started with 101 N. It’s also possible that the theater was at 103-105 N. Barstow, and this was written 103-5 in the source, but the hyphen got blurred out.

kenosharay on September 5, 2012 at 11:51 am

This was indeed on North Barstow. It was located on the east side of the street between the Eau Claire River and the railroad tracks.

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 7:36 am

This reopened as O'Klare on June 14th, 1935. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Found on Newspapers.com

rivest266 on January 28, 2018 at 8:25 am

This reopened as the Uptown theatre on September 28th, 1951. Listings stopped in 1952. Ad in photo section.

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